Josh has a good piece up on Single payer and real politics,
But it’s more than just that. Single payer supporters do themselves a disservice by imagining that the only or even the main obstacle to single payer is the money power of the health insurance industry. That’s obviously a big obstacle. It was a huge issue in 2009. But the biggest is the simple fact that the overwhelming majority of people, especially most people who vote, have health insurance coverage. And even though most don’t like it and hate their insurance companies, in most cases, they’re easily scared off by being told they’re going to lose what they know, lose access to their doctor and get something new that they don’t know.
It isn’t just that most people who vote have insurance, it’s that most people that can influence the debate have it as well. Perception, not facts, matters in American politics.
If, as Josh asserts single payer was never a viable option, which I agree with, it was a viable political option to getting the public option, which was a viable policy option, because it took nothing away from those who already have insurance, so they had nothing to loose, while giving the government a better bargaining position with a large insurance pool of people in the public option program. We’ll never know if it would have worked since it was not even used as a political option, which is what pissed most of us liberals off.
Bad policy makes for good politics, as per my previous post, since there is no need to educate the electorate on anything factual, just throw out some ad hominems with a pretty face, and the uninformed are off and running with it. The informed are, given political persuasion, either amused, as I think most of our media is, even though they have enough facts and intelligence for defense against fallacies. They like a good burn however, and that is human nature, so Anne Coulter can say some of the stupidest things in the world with snark, and live to burn another day, when in an actual policy debate she would get thumped like a drum by any relatively well informed school boy with a stick. Is it any wonder that so many non voting Americans think the government is on the verge of collapse, or that an impending armed police state is just around the corner? I don’t think so.