…is that in America you can´t sell health care reform by telling the truth. The truth would be something like this.

“We live in a country that has 50 million people without insurance. This is unfair and immoral. The right thing to do is for all of those who have insurance to get slightly worse medical care, so everyone can be insured. And that is what people do in other countries. And that is what we should do here.”

But solidarity does not sell well in a country where the 80% of people who have insurance don´t really care about the 20% who don´t. To use a public transport analysis what is going on here is that as 20% more passengers board the train some people may have to ride standing up. But the passengers in the train don´t want more passengers. They don´t care if the others have to walk. So then, aware of this Obama paints the plan in a too optimistic fashion, by telling the 80% who are insured that everything will be the same for them. And the vested interests in the status quo nail him because that´s just no the case.

In democracies it is very hard to pass measures that improve things for minorities because democracies are the rule of the majority and if the majority is better off, they just don´t care enough about the minority.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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