The key is not Medicare for All, but health care for all

I am so with Drum on this.  I get that people don’t like private insurance (of course, as the real experts know, it’s actually the profit motive for hospitals and providers that drive our insane costs), but it strikes me as folly to worry about how exactly we get there instead of focusing overwhelmingly on the idea that every American should have affordable health insurance.  Drum (inspired by some recent pragmatic comments from Pelosi):

Personally, I’m in favor of universal coverage and I don’t care much how we get there. Maybe we slowly expand the age limits for Medicare. Maybe we have a revolution and nationalize the entire American health care system. Maybe we keep expanding Obamacare until we get to 100 percent coverage. Maybe we expand both Obamacare and Medicare until they mush together and cover everyone. Maybe we adopt a German-style multi-payer system.

Some of these are inherently more efficient than others. Some of them are more politically feasible in the US given where we’re starting from. The politics is messy no matter how you approach it, and the key thing is to focus like a laser on universal coverage—as Democrats have—and not worry too much about how the sausage gets made. [emphasis mineIt looks to me like that’s what Pelosi is doing, and in the meantime she figures that there’s no point in pissing off the insurance industry to no purpose. That’s politics.

The polarization of racial attitudes

The Northam imbroglio occasioned this nice post at 538 looking at the changing racial views of the parties in recent years.  Here’s the chart showing the pretty amazing degree to which the parties have polarized on this in such a short time.

And, some additional context:

What’s happening here is that white Democrats have become more liberal on racial matters. A 2017 Pew study showed that views among white and black Democrats were closer in agreement over the idea that changes need to be made to give black Americans equal rights — 90 percent of black Democrats versus 80 percent of white Democrats.4 One study also found that racial resentment among Democrats fell across all age groups between 2011 and 2016, especially among younger Democrats. Gallup polling datashows the same thing, finding that, by the end of Obama’s time in office, racial resentment had dropped among Democrats while Republican views remained relatively unchanged.

This post doesn’t get into the underlying dynamics.  Our basic theories and understanding of partisanship tell us that many white Democrats have adopted more racially liberal views in following along with the elite cues that come with being a Democrat.  But I also cannot wonder how many people with negative racial views have decided that the Democratic party is no place for them.

And, as long as I’m mentioning polarization on the basis of race, always a good time to put in a plug for Identity Crisis.

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