Stay First-Order on Health Care


I made this point at a few seemingly key junctures during the Presidential campaign, so to return to the theme whatever questions there may be about what actions will or will not help produce comprehensive health care reform we can be fairly certain that a lot of meta-commentary from the country’s most articulate progressive voices is not going to help. Nor will Monday-morning quarterbacking. If there’s an argument about health care reform that you think more people need to hear, then make the argument don’t argue about how other people should be making the argument.

It’s difficult, of course, to critique the impulse to “go meta” without falling prey to accusations of going double meta. But I don’t think people should start criticizing communications strategy until they’ve actually exhausted the ways in which they can personally make a valuable contribution. Have you told people about the eightfold path of consumer protection included in all the draft bills on the Hill? Contacted your congressman and senators? Urged your friends and family to do so? Written letters to the editor of your local paper complaining about bad editorials?

Have you discussed the proposals with coworkers, heard what concerns they might have, and cleared up any misapprehensions? Disinformation is hard to beat back, and everyone in life knows somebody who’s misinformed about something. And there are always more calls to be made and more letters to write.