The End of The Healthcare Care Debate?

Last weekend in NYC thousands marched up Central Park West to protest attempts by the Trump administration to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It’s been well documented that his first attempt to do so failed disastrously. What has not been well documented is that both the protesters in New York and team Trump are actually in full agreement on the central tenet of the Healthcare issue and that agreement should put an end the debate altogether.

It would be tough to find someone who disagrees with the statement: “everyone should have access to healthcare.” Donald Trump does not want people to lose Healthcare. Neither does the Freedom Caucus. What’s being debated are the methods for providing it, not the idea that people should have it. That seems obvious but it’s an important nuance that, since misunderstood, has allowed for so much rancor and nonsense. As a result those on both sides of the issue end up losing.

In his fervor to denounce all things Obama and energize his base Donald Trump missed an incredible opportunity to lead. Sure he was able to get people fired up about getting rid of something that they actually wanted. He was so effective at doing so that his base is now upset that he wasn’t able to give them something that would have made them worse off. That wasn’t leadership.That was politics. Leadership would have been positioning Obamacare as a step towards healthcare for all Americans (again, something we all want); but it was a step that fell short and and one that he and his administration will build on and ultimately make better.

Perhaps partisanship has consumed our politics beyond the point of no return and there is no fix for that. An optimist would content that is not the case. If you tend to think optimistically, feel good knowing that on the issue of healthcare, despite the noise, we are at a great starting point — the acceptance that all Americans, as citizens of the world’s wealthiest country, have a right to it. Now let’s work on finding a way to get it to them.