Friday, November 11, 2005

Jumpin' in

Seems like the blogosphere is having a heyday (see here, here, and here) with Tyler Cowen's assertion that he could never become a democrat because they support single payer health care. Despite his bizzare economic claims:
But since single-payer national health insurance violates every economic law known to mankind, I am again unsure how I could leap on the Democratic bandwagon.
I think it's a reasonable position.

Matt, apparently, does not:
Time to step back. As far as I can tell, the Democratic Party is not in favor of a single-payer health care system. Dennis Kucinich proposed one ("Medicare for all!") in the 2004 primaries and, as you'll recall, he wasn't a major contender. None of the other candidates did. Several of the major liberal think tanks have come up with health care proposals in the past twelve months, and none of them have endorsed a single-payer system. So as an objection to the Democratic Party this is a slightly odd one. It would be like me complaining about the Republican plan to abolish national parks -- I'm sure someone in the GOP wants to do it, but it's hardly a requirement of entry.
This strikes me as a completely false comparison.

If you feel that strongly about single payer health care, it's totally reasonable not to want to vote Democrat. Our best chances of enacting a single payer system are surely with the Democratic party. Think tank plans aside (many of which are written for their plausibility) there's a significant number of Democrats who support single payer. The vast majority of my democratic friends do. Polling suggests that 62% of Americans favor a government-run system. I don't know how many people want to abolish the national parks, but I'm sure it's miniscule. It might not be the party platform, but surely it's a larger issue than Matt makes it out to be.

What's my party-breaking issue? Choice. I will not vote major office Republican if the candidate is a strong anti-choice advocate. Take McCain. He's all sunshine and smiles for Democrats, but were he in office and enacting his ideal legislative agenda I'd be displeased, to say the least. And come to think of it, I wouldn’t vote Republican based on their health care agenda either.

Bizarre argumentation aside, if Tyler feels so strongly about single payer, then no, I would not recommend he vote Democrat.

Update: Jon's got more on the grip of single payer among Democratic leaders.


At 11/14/2005 2:57 PM, Anonymous Pirsig said...

I assume by "choice" you are euphamizing the abortion question. No need - polls show that 65% of the public support abortion without the sugar coating. You said "Our best chances of enacting a single payer system are surely with the Democratic party." That's like saying that our best chance of everyone taking a Bahama cruise is with John McCain - makes as much sense. Polls show that 75% of the public wants single payer - been taht way for years - yet find me more than a few Democrats that support the public, and I'll buy you a cruise. I ahve as much use for Demomcrats as they do for me.

At 11/14/2005 3:04 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Pirsig, I have no idea what you are talking about with cruises to the Bahamas.

So 65% of the public supports abortion and Democrats are the ones that don't support the public? Please.

At 11/15/2005 8:32 AM, Anonymous Pirsig said...

The public has long wanted universal health care by a large margin. But it is politically impossible - the HMO's, corporations, and wealthy who benefit from the current system will not allow it. Saying that we are more likely to get it from the Democrats is akin to saying we're all going to get a Bahama cruise - equally as likely. Don't be such a party hack, don't idealize Democrats - in my view, they are worse than Republicnas becuase they give false hope. You've simply bought in to the side that makes sure all things come to nothing. It's the place where moveemnts go to die.

Abortion is a mobilizing tool - beyond that, neither party cares a rat's ass.

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