This is not a game

I can’t help it.  I’m a bit appalled by the emails I’ve been getting today.  A surprising number are from people who are noting what’s going on in Massachusetts and are gloating about the potential impending failure of reform.

Those people are claiming they “won”.

Listen, please.  This is not a game.  You are not “winning”.  If health care reform fails, things are not going to get better.  We will still be spending more than 16% of GDP on health care.  More than 45 million people will still be uninsured, and many million more will still be underinsured.  And our outcomes will still be pretty bad.

I can accept a reasoned critique of health care reform as proposed.  When I see those, and they are rare, they are usually accompanied by counter-proposals.  Some are more free-market based, some are more progressive.

But today it all seems to be nihilism. Just kill reform and revel in the inadequacy of the US health care system.

One last time.  I’m a policy guy.  I just want a better health care system.  Really.  I don’t care which party gets us there or who gets credit.  The politics is always secondary (if that).

Today, though, it seems that politics is all that matters.  Many seem to be saying that if we have to have a sub-standard health care system in order to achieve a political win, then so be it.

I accept that this is a democracy and that everyone doesn’t always agree with me.  I also accept that if, in a democracy, the people choose not to support reform, then it won’t happen.  I just wish so many of you weren’t so happy about it.

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