Perfect Is The Enemy of Good

A recent survey of three Americans at the coffee shop was conducted by The American Spokesman. The participants were asked to list 10 things about health care reform that are important to them, and here is one person’s list in no particular order:

  1. Quality treatment.
  2. Choose your own doctors.
  3. Affordable premiums.
  4. Lower drug prices.
  5. Can’t be dropped because of a serious illness.
  6. Can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  7. No long waiting periods to receive care.
  8. What’s the impact of the hotly debated Stupak amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services (except in rare cases) for the less than 0.4% of Americans who seek that medical procedure annually, and which was allowed in the bill by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to temporarily appease several conservative Democrats, on the legitimacy of the 220-215 passing vote and the future of the largest social program in U.S. history?
  9. Vision benefits.
  10. Dental benefits.

Item #8 is a concern to 33% of those people who took the survey. The 33% is a white, 65-year-old Baptist minister with one adult son, no daughters.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress must not pass health care reform until it is absolutely, positively perfect. It must satisfy the folks at the coffee shop. It must satisfy Speaker Pelosi’s constituents in the God-fearing city of San Francisco. It must satisfy the lobbyists, media, foreign countries, Rachel Maddow, Glenn Beck, everyone. Indeed, Congress must ignore the fact that millions of suffering Americans with no health care will continue to suffer until they receive health care in some form.

On the other hand, perhaps it’s possible for Congress to implement a very good version of health care reform that leaves a few issues, including #8 above, unresolved. If so, 30 million Americans would appreciate it.