One of the frustrating things about many policy debates is that there is too much emphasis on the details in political discussions:
When it comes to healthcare policy, people don’t care about the API, they care about the GUI. In English, that means if the end product isn’t liked, it doesn’t matter if the wonky details are nerdvana. Or as we often say around here, people have to like this crap.
….it’s important to lay out what a good healthcare system would look like. Think about all of the previous healthcare discussions: they never started from the premise of “what healthcare services do people need?” Not “what insurance mechanism could work”, which is about how can we help people buy into a mediocre, overpriced system. Second, most voters don’t care about the mechanisms; they just want a system that’s affordable, available regardless of employment status, and easy to use. That’s what people think of when they say “single-payer.”
…These problems can be solved. It’s not like going to Mars at all, just to any number of other countries.
With that as prelude, we outsource to Commandante Atrios (boldface mine):
“We” spend too much money on health care costs in this country, but I don’t particularly care about that. I mean, I do, it’s absurd, and we shouldn’t, but it isn’t actually my job do worry about how to fix that. It isn’t your job. It isn’t the job of voters to waste their beautiful minds worrying about what the best plan to cut health care costs is, and it’s absurd that for some reason it’s expected that voters all play Wonk for a Year and try to figure out who has the wonkiest wonko plan of all.
People are paid a lot of money to figure that shit out. Go figure it out. What kind of health plan should pass that makes voters happy and doesn’t make them upset because it doesn’t raise their taxes or upset the status quo or isn’t “moderate” or whatever the fuck? One which mails them a card on day one that they can use to go to the damn doctor without paying any money. Then the wonks and the politicians can get to work for the next 10 years fixing the engine under the hood.
Make voters happy by making them happy. Tomorrow. Eat the up front costs because we are a rich country and we can afford to eat the costs, and then spend the next 10 years clawing money back from the other “stakeholders” who have been looting the bank accounts of dying people for decades. Just don’t make us have to worry about how….
The details matter, but the wonks should be working out that shit between themselves, not by writing memos on op-ed pages because none of us should have to care about them.
One other to remember: other countries are already able to this. It’s not like we’re trying to build a working cold fusion reactor–that is hard (if not impossible). So it’s almost like many of the Democratic-aligned wonks really don’t want this…