The saying, “It is better to be lucky than good” cannot be attributed to anyone according to Google. Sometimes people who have been lucky say it as a way of acknowledging their privilege or good fortune. I have been thinking about it a lot lately in terms of health care. (More)

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The phrase appears in sports in the 1939 quote from Lefty Gomez and in war where Napolean preferred lucky generals, and also in song lyrics. It is in the realm of folk wisdom and even Thomas Jefferson said “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

I couldn’t find any exact polling as to how many people actually believe this idea. For some sociologists it falls into the realm of magical thinking. But my musings, unimpeded by polling or actual results say quite a few people know this phrase and probably subscribe to it as some sort of folk wisdom.

I have been thinking a lot about the impacts of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office says:

The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.

Premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026.

The estimate of the number of Americans with pre-existing conditions ranges from 50 million to 129 million. If they could get insurance in the private market, they would certainly pay much higher premiums.

The Children’s Health Insurance Plan covers 8.3 million kids.

Let’s say that the repeal extends to eliminating medicare which covers 45 million seniors and 9 million disabled people.

Even taking the 50 million with pre-existing conditions and the 30 million from the repeal of the ACA, 8 million kids and 54 million medicare recipients, do we really think that millions of Americans are simply either unlucky or “not good?” What kind of magical thinking will possibly convince us as a country that it is good that millions of people will be faced with “die quickly” as their health care replacement strategy?

Democrats believe that health care is a human right. Republicans do not. They seem to think you should be lucky enough or good enough to escape their repeal of the Affordable Care Act. For anyone who says what about the “replacement” I say, they have had seven years to come up with one. I don’t believe they give a damn about millions being uninsured. I don’t believe that health care should depend on being lucky or good.

I would have dropped an F Bomb or two but I am trying to be good.


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