The US is the only developed country in the world without universal healthcare. Americans pay more for their healthcare than anyone else, and get significantly worse outcomes than people in every other developed nation. The majority of Americans support universal healthcare. And yet, we are told that universal healthcare is impossible in America.
The arguments against universal healthcare — such as the one proposed by Senators Warren and Sanders and endorsed by thousands of US doctors — often take the form of "concern trolling," as in "Oh, I agree that it would be great to have universal healthcare, but I'm worried about this insoluble problem with this proposal and therefore we should just forget about it."
In the LA Times, Adam H Johnson, a media analyst for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, taxonomizes the three major arguments against universal healthcare: "We need more details" (this from literally the same people to voted for war in Iraq with the details to be sorted out later because the situation was urgent); "How do you pay for it?" (from the same people who signed the $700 billion military spending bill without asking how we'd pay for it); and "What about the GOP?" (if holding an "unrealistic" position was a nonstarter, then the Tea Party would have been unable to devastate America).
Indeed, the Tea Party movement provided a clear counterexample to conventional wisdom. It routinely held "unrealistic" positions such as shutting down the entire U.S. government and establishing a 14.5% flat tax, but nonetheless went on to help the GOP net 900 seats nationwide as well as the White House and both houses of Congress.
To have seen this play out and still conclude that maximalism can't work is perplexing. Progressives lose nothing by setting bold targets right out of the gate. Why not make every Republican lawmaker go back to his or her constituents in 2018 and explain opposition to free healthcare? Force the issue, shift the debate, just as the far right has been doing for years.
President Eisenhower — an early practitioner of concern trolling — told the New York Times in 1957 that he supported integration "in principle" but said activists in the South risked going "too far, too fast." Give it more time. We need more details. Who will pay for it? All meaningful changes to society have been met with these types of objections. But the game of politics isn't won by waiting for the ideal. Its most successful actors establish a moral goal and fight for it until reality catches up to them.
There are 3 types of single-payer 'concern trolls' — and they all want to undermine universal healthcare [Adam H. Johnson/LA Times]
(via Naked Capitalism)