Doesn’t Brown’s win in Mass. just prove that voters are selfish?

I think it’s way overblown to think that Brown’s win (a.k.a. Coakley’s f-up) is a referendum on health care reform. If the only good reason for MA to vote for Coakley was because she would maintain the supermajority in the Senate so as to pass the current health care bill, then the good people of Massachusetts were expected to be entirely selfless. After all, they already have health care reform in a fashion very similar to the current bill. Would there be benefits in the current bill passing? Sure. But there’s way less incentive for them to vote that way than people in other states with more serious problems.

Look, is the current bill unpopular? It seems like it might be. But why is it unpopular? Conservatives like to think that it goes too far for too many Americans, but that ignores the possibility, nay the likelihood, that it doesn’t go far enough for many others. Consider me one of the others.

The status quo is ridiculous and will likely keep me and my family from moving back to the U.S. without job security. If I don’t get a job in the next year, we will move to Canada because health care is just too damned expensive in the States for us to even consider it. Fortunately, we can legally move to Canada, unlike many other people. I have a friend here who contracted M.S. while living in the U.K. She is now furiously trying to figure out how to stay here because she will be unable to get insurance back home since she has a preexisting condition. How crazy is that? For her to be able pursue happiness she has to live with the oppressive nation from whom the U.S. felt necessary to declare independence.

However, if she were from Massachusetts, it might not matter. 98% of the population of the Bay State is insured. No incentive to vote for a terrible candidate makes it no surprise that the terrible candidate lost.Updated: Aha! I was right! From Jonathan Chait:

Brown’s argument as to why he opposes bringing a similar model to other states is purely local (via the Lowell Sun):

Why should we in Massachusetts subsidize what other states should be doing? I have to be a little parochial.

So, okay. The Massachusetts voters endorsed this vision: We’re got ours, and we don’t want to pay for anybody else to enjoy this great system we have. So why should the rest of the country feel bound to heed this decision?

Update: Aha again!

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One Response to “Doesn’t Brown’s win in Mass. just prove that voters are selfish?”

  1. J.P. Douglas Says:

    That is a very good point in your post about the people of MA having health care.

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