NEVER MIND: NN16 decides against discussing Obamacare *or* Single Payer this year.

Some of you may recall that a couple of months ago, I was asking for people to vote for a Netroots Nation 2016 panel with myself and 3 other healthcare experts having an all-out “Incremental Progress vs. Single Payer Now!” healthcare debate.

This subject seemed especially ripe for discussion especially given the massive brouhaha from back in January when I reviewed Bernie Sanders’s so-called “Medicare for All” proposal (which actually wouldn’t be Medicare at all, but that’s a different discussion), along with the raging debate which followed both here and across the blogosphere as well as mainstream media websites as well over the next month or so.

As I noted at the time, normally, all 90 panels are chosen by a NN committee, but this year they decided to leave 10 slots open to “public voting”, allowing anyone to create a NN account, log in and vote daily for their favorite panel.

A bunch of you voted for my panel (thank you!), although in the end we missed the top 10 by a handful of votes, coming in 12th out of 198 total. We still had a 42% chance at being picked based on the odds alone (80 spots out of 188 submissions).

In addition, our panel:

Was the only one concerned with national U.S. healthcare policy (there are a handful of other healthcare-related submissions, but they’re limited to reproductive health, mental health, family medical leave and so on)

Was the only one about Obamacare

Was the only one about achieving Single Payer healthcare

Was the only one about achieving Universal coverage (which isn’t the same thing)

When you add all of the above to the fact that the Hillary/Bernie Obamacare/Single Payer debate has been a major issue within progressive/Democratic circles the past few months, and I admit that I was pretty darned confident that we’d be included on the schedule.

Unfortunately...Netroots Nation disagreed. We just received notice that our panel didn’t make the cut after all.

Don’t get me wrong: I realize that other topics are just as important, and there was no guarantee that we’d be among those chosen, but it’s still pretty surprising.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who voted. Genuinely disappointed it isn’t gonna happen.