Being Singled Out


One of the incidents that made Wednesday a little more stressful than it needed to be was another attack on our campaign by some of the single-payer folks online. Clearly the Austin truce expired when I wasn’t looking, and in the absence of a true adversary – say a publicly-announced AHIP listening tour stop – some single-payer advocates renewed their anti-HCAN fervor. This time they targeted MoveOn.org for being a part of our coalition. Yesterday, MoveOn.org posted its response. It’s important reading for anyone who wants to understand why our strategy is what it is.

As I told the single-payer faithful I met in Austin and have continued to stay in touch with, they are not off the mark in their ideology. In a perfect world, health care would be a universal right, and the profit-driven insurance industry would be gone altogether. But unfortunately, that’s not the reality we live in. People are not comfortable with the notion of radical change that forces them to abandon the system they know and tolerate. No amount of education or information will alter human nature. It just is what it is.

Ezra Klein made an excellent point at Netroots Nation (during the single-payer panel, no less) about politics versus policy. The die-hards heard it but still soldier on in their own direction (which I can’t begrudge them. I appreciate their commitment to their cause). But if you’re at all confused or on the fence, it’s worth a gander.

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