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It’s no secret that we live in an era of historic political polarization.

Almost daily we’re reminded of the corrosive consequences of Americans drifting apart: Polarization affects how we work, where we live, what we buy and who we marry.

As doctors and health policy researchers, we worry about the effect of polarization not only for our political system, but also for our health system — and most importantly, for the care that our patients receive.

From Obamacare and “death panels” to abortion and stem cells, health care has grown into one of the most divisive issues of our time. This is perhaps unsurprising: Health affects us all and raises fundamental questions of values, equality, meaning and life — with a massive price tag to boot.

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