Health care was mentioned in the State of the Union last night, but it was short and sweet. Even in the Republican response, the mention was fleeting.
There was a debate on Twitter about what the brevity meant.
I thought, talking to Capitol Public Radio, it was a missed opportunity, when talking about the “make-or-break moment for the middle class,” to incorporate the huge need to have the economic security that comes with coverage you can count on. And a missed opportunity to talk about the progress that has been made in that regard, from the 2.5 million young adults who now have coverage, to the millions more who have new consumer protections.
President Obama did reference those benefits: “I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your coverage, or charge women differently than men.”
Sarah Kliff at the Washington Post argues that the shortness was strategic: to not relitigate health care fully is not to give legitimacy to those who seek to repeal the law.
But she agrees with those who were disappointed, like Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt in JAMA, that regardless, health care will–by necessity–be a major topic through the rest of the rest, in Congress, the courts, and yes, the campaign.