I wrote this at Salon. I didn’t title it. So if you are going to complain about that, direct it elsewhere.
But instead of getting into the nuts and bolts of whether the young can be swayed to enroll, I think it behooves us to take a step back and consider how utterly surreal this spectacle is. The whims of a small set of 20-somethings and 30-somethings will determine whether our attempt at a universal healthcare regime stays afloat or self-implodes. Did you manage to see that shirtless bro with a crooked Miami Dolphins hat who became a mini-celebrity yesterday because he witnessed the Capitol shooting? The success of Obamacare depends on the neurons in his dudebro brain firing in a specific way that causes him and his dudebro friends to sign up for insurance on the exchange. We are all at his mercy.
Do you think the NHS in the U.K. had a phase like this? Do you imagine there was a moment in 1948 when all of Britain had their fingers crossed, hoping that the whims of the country’s youth would afford them the luxury of healthcare? Do you think Canada’s Medicare system was constructed in such a way that it could be unraveled by a small part of its population opting not to participate? No, of course not. These are competent countries and when they wanted universal healthcare, they made it happen. When we wanted it, however, we produced a Frankenstein joke so compromised by navigating between the relevant special interests that the whole thing may very well collapse in on itself in a spectacular display of our nation’s accelerating impotence.