Monday, March 15, 2010

Health Care Reform Requires Political Suicide

The lead editorial in the March 15, 2010, edition of the Financial Times is titled “The Democrats’ healthcare choice.” Stressing the importance of fixing what it calls a broken system, the editorial asks Democrats to do the right thing: Vote for the bill in the public interest knowing that some will be voted out of office in November. “This is a lot to ask of any politician. But, remembering what is at stake, not too much.”

Many members in the House of Representatives have invested considerable time, effort, and money in obtaining their seats. A career path might include as many as six rungs in the ladder of electoral politics—local school board, city council, county commissioner, state house, state senate, and, finally, the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s not easy to throw all that away to vote for a questionable bill in the face of constituent opposition.

The digital revolution is rapidly transforming communication. The printed media is steadily losing ground to the internet. Lead editorial writers in the few remaining profitable newspapers face relentless pressure from web postings, blogs, tweets, and social networking.

Perhaps the editorial writers of the Financial Times should do the right thing and make the same sacrifice they ask of Democrat members of Congress. To be crystal clear, they should resign their jobs, give up their salaries and benefits, and try earning a living freelancing in the blogosphere.

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