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Health Care Reform and the Future of Wonky Policy Types


spottedtoad
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7 members have voted

  1. 1. So, all of you will be future movers and shakers in government and policy. So, what can we learn from the decline and likely death of health care reform this year? More precisely, who's to blame?

    • The Wonks who came up with the ideas in the plans (our future professors!)
      0
    • The Electorate that voted in these knuckleheads
      2
    • The Majority Politicians, who didn't bother to understand the policies they were supporting
      0
    • The Majority Politicians, who didn't communicate the reforms well to the public
      3
    • The Majority Politicians, who didn't have the guts to vote with their principles
      4
    • The Opposition Politicians, who cynically blocked reforms they actually believe in
      3
    • The Opposition Politicians, who spread disinformation about health care reform
      5
    • The Structure of our political system (Filibuster and all), that makes tackling hard problems impossible
      3
    • Not enough transparency to the process-- too many back-room deals!
      1
    • Too much transparency-- no one wants to watch the sausage being made!
      2
    • The pernicious special interests, whose lobbying blocked reform.
      5
    • The economy, which put everyone in a bad mood.
      3
    • Just bad luck...
      0
    • What's the point of reforming health care, anyway?
      1


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If there's any message from the story of health care reform this year, it is that changing politicians is a lot easier than changing policies, or how government works. What do you think the story of health care reform suggests for us as people going into policy or public affairs programs? At the very least, our future professors were among the ones coming up with the ideas these reform bills were based on, as well as doing the research to support them. Is it possible to do anything complex, difficult, or ambitious in our system? Does the study of policy-- as health care policy has been studied in the last thirty years-- really contribute to changing the way things work?

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Hey-- I'm no Gallup. I just thought it would be interesting to hear what a group of people who see themselves as someday shaping and molding American public policy think about the failure of the most ambitious piece of social policy in a generation, regardless of its objective merits. It also struck me that this was legislation created by wonks-- our future professors and the people working in the jobs we someday hope to hold.

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Not to ruffle any feathers, butttttttttt. The Democrats had not just majorities in both houses of Congress and a sitting President, but filibuster-proof majorities for an entire year. They could of rammed any legislation they wanted through without compromising. The fact that they didn't is a good indicator that the failure to pass UHC has little to do with Republican opposition. This was not te only example either. The Cap n' Trade Bill, gays in the military, Guantanamo Bay, and Iraq.

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