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Monday, 5 November 2012

The US election - what happened to the health care debate?

'tis the day before the great decision.
Romney or Obama are furiously skittering
Rounding up votes with hopes of four years of bliss.
Tallying the states and crunching their numbers.

Jobs are the issue, with stimulating the economy close behind
Training, education, and energy still on the plate.
Sandy is history and left her mark on millions.  
But where, oh where, has the health debate gone?

In a race for the finish line, what was to be one of the biggest election issues, seems to have silently fallen off the political banter.   The election that had such clear political lines at the start; Romney campaigning to eliminate Obama's tentative efforts at health care reform; Obama attacking hard to defend the cautious progress that has been achieved.

There are some groups that have tried to speak out and make the issues public.  With little doubt, the Republican machine is bolstered by some of the 17% administrative costs and profits that the US health care industry generates and are somewhat at risk.  Women's groups, public health, environmentalists and others have shouted into the fog about the implications of not supporting the Democratic caravan and Obamacare reforms, but voices are few, far between and rarely associated with the actual political parties.

The Canadian "universal health care system",  around which can be found a national culture, when tinkered with,  can be the cause of loosing voter confidence and loosing subsequent elections.  Rarely can a political party run a campaign based on even the slightest of adjustments save a promise of a new hospital or expansion of existing services. More of the same will bring the voters out. Reforming the system occurs quietly out of the eyes of the public.  

Has the health care curse hit below the border?   Have the two political machines discovered that discussing health care change means only one thing - loosing voters to the other guy?  In a race that on the day before the election is too close to call by even the sophisticated pollsters and number crunchers, any comments that might shift voters away could crash the train just before it comes into the station - too big a risk to take.

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