Mike the Mad Biologist

…or dead. Compulsive Centrist Disorder is a malady that strikes many pundits who think that the ideal policy is always between two opposing points of view, even if one of those viewpoints is really fucking stupid. Sadly, Compulsive Centrist Disorder, when applied to healthcare, can harm the health of innocent bystanders (italics original; boldface mine):

Pete Stark’s bill, the most left-wing of the lot (it’s sort of a “Medicare for many more” proposal) covers the most people….

Stark’s is the best again. And yet there’s no chance whatsoever that we’ll actually do this because his plan, though the most practical, is also the most left-wing. Far too left-wing for the United States of America.

Some folks, of course, will oppose the Stark plan because they’re right-wingers who don’t want to expand health care coverage. And some folks, will want to focus their energies on other, worse, plans because those plans have a better chance of passing. But what’s incredibly frustrating is that a lot of people who claim to want to change public policy to expand health care coverage and better control health care costs will nonetheless fail to embrace Stark’s plan or anything similar for no real reason other than ideological posturing. It just can’t be the case, as a matter of centrist dogma, that the best solution is actually the most left-wing solution. It’s a far more ideological stance than anything you’ll ever hear from Pete Stark or from me. But the people hewing to it will insist on being called pragmatists.

And so we will have more sick people than needs be.

Comments

  1. #1 Damien
    January 14, 2009

    This is a very fine point. There are occasionally problems whose best solutions come from one side of the ideological aisle. I haven’t really heard a good one from the right-wing for a long time, but I feel assured they have existed.

    I wish that people could legitimately be more practical and set aside these tribalistic notions of one party or ideology as the be-all and end-all. I feel that we might get a lot more done that way.

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