Harold Pollack, one of the rising stars of health services research, has a long diary up on Daily Kos reflecting on the state of the health care problem and defending Barack Obama’s approach to dealing with it, including Obama’s reluctance to endorse a mandate. Nut graf:
Our medical and public health system is a mess. It won’t be fixed until we choose a Democrat who can actually win the presidency, and who can then assemble a working majority to get things done.
On the mandate point I think Obama is being somewhat disingenuous. He says that people are uninsured because they can’t afford insurance, but that’s true only of some. Lots of uninsured folks are adverse-selecting young immortals. But it’s not hard to fathom the general-election politics of this, and Obama seems now to be saying that there would be a financial penalty for waiting to join the system.
In any case, Harold’s piece is worth a careful read.