Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The real point of healthcare reform

Ezra Klein provides a useful reality check on what's at the core of the healthcare debate:
Rather, what has kept health-care reform at the forefront of liberal politics for decades is moral outrage that 47 million of our friends and neighbors are uninsured. That medical costs are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. That an unemployed machinist gets screwed by fly-by-night insurance schemes while a comfortably employed banker need never worry. That the working class ends up in emergency rooms with crushing chest pains because they didn't have health insurance and didn't get prescribed cheap blood pressure medications five years before.
I get the sense that a lot of liberals see this fight as being some sort of grudge match to triumph over special interests, and quite a bit of that fighting needs to be done. But the fight over the public option does leave us at risk of losing the forest for the trees. (I still support it, though, slippery slope arguments about it leading to single-payer notwithstanding.) It is worth worrying that, while the reform bills under consideration by Congress address many of the concerns Ezra names, there might not be nearly the sort of bullet-pointable advantages that could be used to sell the reform, but that doesn't mean that it's not good policy.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.