Norms: You Notice When They’re Gone

The concept of norms has gained prominence in both my professional life as a physician and in the American political landscape. As Yale political historian Joanne Freeman observes, the constitutional framework for our government is just that: a framework. The actual practice and outworking of government is saturated with norms. When a person who thinks … Continue reading Norms: You Notice When They’re Gone

Health Care: Neither Right Nor Privilege

Let's face it. The Constitution doesn't enshrine the right to health care. The document that has structured our country for 230 years appears to give more explicit support to the NRA than the existence of Medicare. One might turn to the Declaration of Independence's cadence of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and construe that "life" … Continue reading Health Care: Neither Right Nor Privilege

The Mandate is a Really Good Thing

Part 2 of What Everyone Needs to Know About Obamacare. Part 1 is here. Yesterday's post highlighted the three "legs" of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No exclusions: Coverage for people with pre-existing conditions Universal Participation: A mandate to require all people to have health insurance Subsidies: Assistance to help the poor buy insurance In the above description, … Continue reading The Mandate is a Really Good Thing

What Everyone Needs to Know About Obamacare: Part 1, The Basics

Last week’s announcement of Tom Price as Secretary for Health and Human Services was eclipsed by several things, including tweets about flag burning, SNL, and canceling an order for a new Air Force One. This stream of tweets, unfortunately, serves as a distraction from much more important issues. (Both CNN and The New York Times featured … Continue reading What Everyone Needs to Know About Obamacare: Part 1, The Basics