Why Health Care Is A Wicked Problem
The Supreme Court has allowed most aspects of Obama’s health care bill to pass. So, now we all get free broccoli, right?
Hopefully, we’ll eventually see the bill’s effects in our own lives–though that may require Obama to have a second term, since Mitt Romney has said that he will repeal the bill if he wins office. And the Court’s decision had one result that may impede the bill’s ability to reach those who need health care the most: it limited the expansion of Medicaid, on the basis that it would be an unconstitutional impingement on states’ rights.
Check out Atul Gawande’s insightful article on The New Yorker’s website, explaining why health care is a “wicked problem,” meaning a messy, complex issue with interlocking dependencies that defies a simple solution (we’ve written about wicked problems, and how design students in New York are tackling them, before).
Gawande writes: “The reality of trying to solve a wicked problem is that action of any kind presents risks and uncertainties. Yet so does inaction. All that leaders can do is weigh the possibilities as best they can and find a way forward.”