Last night, Senator McCain cast the deciding vote to kill the “skinny” version of a proposed health care bill. Notice how he explains it as a failure of process, not a problem with the bill itself:
“I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past that has led to Obamacare’s collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace. We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”
Love him or hate him, McCain did what heroes do. He took a bullet to prevent Congress from ignoring the wishes of half the country. Now we have a chance to do it right. Let in some new voices. Consider some new options. Make it a team effort.
My optimism for a good health care outcome just hit its peak. Had they passed a bill, it would have limited their options for improvement to the stale ideas we’ve already heard. Now, for the first time, the public and perhaps Democrats can contribute some ideas and broaden the options.
Today is a very good day disguised as a bad one. If you think in terms of goals, Congress failed to pass a bill last night. But if you think in terms of systems, our options for solving health care just went from limited to plenty. We’re in the best position yet.
Did you wonder why President Trump seemed somewhat hands-off on health care? I think it’s because his strongest play as a negotiator involved waiting until Congress utterly and completely failed. That almost didn’t happen last night. It took a war hero to finish the job.
Now it’s our turn to come up with better ideas, or to support better ideas wherever we see them. And if we are smart, we will insist on testing some ideas in limited ways, such as Special Health Care Zones in some states, and that sort of thing.
And we should be focused on innovation and technology to lower health care costs. There isn’t any other path forward.
You might enjoy reading my book because it is all about how systems are better than goals.
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