Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, March 12, 2017
I am perplexed by the preference of many for the opaque term "single payer" over the (to me) much clearer and usefully stakes-foregrounding "Medicare for All." It's oddly counterintuitive to persist in crafting a rallying discourse around a form of the word "pay," for one thing. And the intrusion of the isolating individuating figure "single" here is discursively deranging. The point of dem-left healthcare politics in the American context, surely, is to emphasize the collective nature of public health, healthcare as a universal right and public investment and source of commonwealth: Whatever the wonky reference of "single" in "single payer" in the insurance policy imaginary, as a slogan it is pushing buttons, making connections, opening up possibilities for action in different ways once it is no longer a phrase in an educational lecture about optimal outcomes to students, an organizational shorthand about ideal outcomes among activists, but a phrase that is activating the diversity of hopes and histories of a working coalition capable of electing enough legislators to enact a longer-term agenda while accountably solving the shared problems in real time of an even greater diversity of stakeholders. Part of this is the difference between discussing engineering and discussing politics, part of this is the difference between discussing ethics and discussing politics, part of this is the difference between movement politics and partisan politics, part of this is the difference between expertise and commonsense and hegemonization...