Health Care Reform Roundup, Part 2

It took me a silly long time to check in with the New Yorker‘s coverage of the health care decision.

(When I was teaching a li’l here and there on media studies, I liked pointing out that the effete literary magazines were doing the most relevant, important journalism in the country. I’m talking the New Yorker‘s masterful long-form journalism on both domestic and international affairs. And the NY Review of Books, actually, which broke some serious stories during the Iraq War, and since.)


Was the decision good for Republicans? In other words, what are the chances that the PPACA will get repealed?

Atul Gawande: Great for GOP and high chances of repeal, because people with health insurance seem immune to considering what it’s like to live without it. (Context: research on intransigence about social changes throughout Western history).

(Note: Gawande’s the warrior whose articles about the health care system—all of them—are, for me, the best source of concrete, meaningful information about the industry. I just did a search to find the one he wrote about why we have employer-based insurance, which makes increasingly less sense: It’s because of historical contingency instead of abstract philosophical love of the free market. And instead I found the article about keeping health care costs down, and then another article about cost-based reforms. And then the article about coaching doctors. And I could go on, but I won’t, because y’all should just read everything Gawande wrote about health care in this country before you bother having an opinion about it.)

James Surowiecki: Bad for GOP if they win in November, but good for them until then. Because there are no viable options that they have not made politically impossible, but that rhetoric can carry them till elections because until then they don’t need a real plan? Really? I dunno. He made it sound legit. I mean, how cynical is it to assume that while campaigning, all we need to be successful is hollow words? No actual alternative plan is necessary? Really?

This killer article about the awesomeness of Ginsburg won’t take you too long, and you’d get to read stuff like this:

Ginsburg wasn’t gentle. She wrote that Roberts’s analysis was “rigid,” “crabbed,” and “stunningly retrogressive,” that it “finds no home in the text of the Constitution or our decisions” and made “scant sense.”

And, finally, a gorgeous meditation on broccoli, including two recipes guaranteed to change our national discourse about health care:

Even in her brave opinion, Justice Ginsburg reveals the heart of the problem: nobody on the Supreme Court knows how to cook broccoli. Naturally, if you eat broccoli raw, steamed, or even deep-fried, it’s going to seem unappetizing, the kind of thing the government would have to force onto your plate. But broccoli is a bad thing only when it is badly done. The truth is that broccoli should always be either roasted or pureed, in the French style, and is so delicious done either way that, if you tasted it, you would not just tolerate but demand government-mandated broccoli.

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