Cafe society takes on health care

GOOD, a do-gooder media company “serving people who want to live well and do good” and Starbucks are partnering to provide “The GOOD Sheet,” a weekly page that explores key political topics. It’s an exclusive arrangement, so you won’t see these sheets at Peet’s. For 11 weeks leading up to and following the US presidential election, GOOD Sheets will be produced and distributed on specific topics, including gas prices, voter turnout and the environment.

Health care is the topic for the second Sheet. You can see a reproduction here in case you miss it at Starbucks. It includes quite a bit of interesting information such as:

  • “A look at what’s wrong”
  • Spending breakdowns
  • International comparisons of costs and outcomes
  • A matrix of “how to health the system,” which lays out various alternatives (like single payer), compares them on key dimensions, and notes which aspects Obama or McCain have endorsed
  • Along the bottom is a timeline of “how we got into this mess,” covering key events and trends over the past couple hundred years

I like the idea of the GOOD Sheet. It presents useful, relevant information in a visually compelling way without dumbing down the issue or taking too strong a stance in favor of a particular outcome. I can imagine the Sheet elevating the discussion about health care to a level where arguments are productive and informed.

The next topic is immigration, which is another area where it would be beneficial to elevate the conversation.

Although I’m not a frequenter of Starbucks –I don’t drink coffee and don’t like the atmoshphere– GOOD Sheets might just get me to go.

September 26, 2008

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