Indulging your inner policy wonk.
I was going to ask everybody what their ideal, but realistic healthcare reform proposal would be. The basic point was to show that once we ignored political viability as a constraint on practical proposals, the quality of the proposal (in terms of its ability to make the healthcare system more equitable and just) would improve tremendously. But then, that got me thinking:
1) In what sense is it realistic to ask ourselves what policy we would implement if we were the dictator of America (or alternatively, if we had a magical button that we could push)?
2) Why is it okay to wish away how other politicians and interest groups will respond to a policy proposal and not wish away how people will actually respond to the incentives created by the policy?
I also realised that depending on how we phrased the initial question (i.e. whether we are implementing a healthcare policy de novo for some place like Somalia or whether we are looking at ideal reforms for an existing american system) and to what extent we are considering alternative histories, we have to ask ourselves whether or not it is okay to wish away transitioning problems.
3) When and to what extent is it appropriate to wish away problems with transitioning from the current defective system to ideal one that actually works? To what extent is a policy defective if it requires you or someone similarly minded to manage the transition from one system to another over many years across multiple administrations?
If the above questions bore you or you think that it is in fact not problematic to think of policy solutions merely in terms of their efficacy once implemented without asking if it is likely to be implemented, I have some other questions for you. The answers may be rather long, so you may want to submit the answer as a post or guest post if you think that will be better. Of course, if you think you can provide an adequate answer in the space of a comment section, that is great too. Here are the other questions:
4) What do you see as the root problem that causes the American health care system to fish up so badly?
5) What policy (to the best of your knowledge) solve these problems?
6) How will the policy you propose solve it? (e.g. if it will bend the cost curve, how exactly will it do so?)
7) How do you self-identify politically?
I have my own answers to these questions, and I think the league is fairly familiar with my views especially on the last four questions. I want to hear from the league on this.
P.S. I can’t think of a picture for this post. Anyone got any great ideas?
[Update: img provided thanks to BlaiseP]