Jim, great post

I remember that book as well and the splash it made. I mostly agree with you as to how it relates to today’s politics. The only thing I would take issue with is when you write “Democrats and Republicans, physicians, insurance providers, drug companies, disease prevention and cure advocates, representatives for underprivileged and uninsured, labor, other business leaders. All agreed there are huge problems, and all agreed that there was no simple solution. Compromise would be the best route.”
Because I don’t think that is at all true. Every other developed nation in the world has some kind of universal health care coverage for its citizens. There were many parties in America who wanted a single payer solution considered (or even a public option), and polls showed strong, if not majority, support for such a system (though certainly as much support as the status quo or an individual mandate). Yet all of us who supported such a solution, including some physician and nurses groups, were completely shut out of the negotiations and discussions before they were started. The corporate interests and money of the insurance companies were simply too strong to allow debate about real change. So I reject outright the idea that the health care legislation was in any real sense a result of compromise. For when you start from a position very far to one end of the spectrum–and thus very far away from the successful solutions of every other developed nation in the world–I don’t believe you can genuinely call it compromise.
And of course if we had gotten a single payer system or a public option, it would have take away the Right’s main contention and legal challenge to the law, that of the individual mandate.

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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