National Health Care

This is a tricky series of posts to write because of our current partisan atmosphere. The fight over and passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 (“Obamacare”) has severely divided the nation.

In fact, it has transformed health care into perhaps the best example of the distorting effect of partisanship in our current public policy debates. A solution (individual mandates) that was, only a few years ago, a conservative idea has become the conservative bête noire almost exclusively because it was part of a health care bill passed by a Democratic congress and president. As a consequence, three Republican presidential candidates (Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich) who at various times embraced the individual mandate have spent months fighting over who hates it more. This has been most challenging for Mitt Romney, who was once proud of passing a health care law with individual mandates and who now must rewrite the laws of logic to explain how the mandate in the Massachusetts law was fundamentally different from Obamacare. (Spoiler: it wasn’t.)

So I know that in this atmosphere most of you are going to decide that supporting federalized health care makes me an irredeemable liberal. But what it really makes me is not-a-libertarian, at least on this issue. I think there are a lot of ways in which a national health care system would benefit the nation.

This post will serve as the beginning of a series on the topic. As with my series about higher education funding and teaching, I’ll let this post serve as the anchor and update it to reflect the newest pieces as I go along. You can also follow all my health care related posts here.

Posts in this series:

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