If you haven’t heard or read about the recent uncovering of remarks made by Jonathan Gruber in relation to the crafting and passage of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., ObamaCare: pub patrons will note I rarely use that term even though I have largely supported it), then it is most likely because you are stupid. Yes, sorry, but that’s the sad reality of affairs according to intelligentsia types like Professor Gruber.
Aaron Blake writing in the Washington Post yesterday argued effectively that Gruber’s remarks will likely have little effect on any legislative initiatives to fully repeal the ACA. And as Kevin Drum pointed out in MotherJones, while Gruber’s choice of wording may have been very poor, he is right in noting that most of the electorate knows very little about public healthcare policy – if that’s what Gruber indeed meant. To me, stupid implies the inability to learn. I think Gruber may have accurately depicted an electorate that is disinterested in and/or unwilling to learn. Even still, I question how someone supposedly so smart could be so stupid.
Whatever term might best describe the initial benchmark of the electorate’s understanding of healthcare delivery, policy and regulations back in 2010, it has certainly advanced substantially from then. I’d like to think I’ve contributed a smidgeon since I started this blog in May of 2012. Whether the ACA is repealed, amended or dismantled one line at a time (parish the thought – I read the whole damn thing) healthcare public policy debate between January 2015 and the November elections of 2016 promises to be as energized, contentious and fraught with misinformation and misunderstanding as ever.
And knowing that, I am hoping to take the PolicyPub to a higher level next year. I am hoping to invite guest bloggers representing differing perspectives and backgrounds. Through my firm’s recent strategic alliance with Healthcare Lighthouse we are exploring ways to collaborate on sharing of healthcare public policy knowledge and information in ways that bring real value to organizations involved in healthcare. I am hoping to reenergize our free private discussion group where healthcare public policy is debated based on the merits of ideas and beliefs, and not sound bytes and news clippings.
To accomplish this I am going to need help. I am going to need to find others who share my passion for wanting to learn, understand and share their knowledge on the inner workings of healthcare public policy – and more importantly, the impact of that policy on patients and provider organizations. If you know of anyone who would be interested in adding to the discussion, please have them contact me.
I would like to commit myself in 2015 to proving how wrong Mr. Gruber is: not only is our electorate not stupid – but neither by implication are they willing to allow college professors to determine the future of our healthcare delivery system while they sit back and accept what’s given to them.