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POLICY: Dean and Clark’s health care plans don’t amount to much

Over at Don Johnson’s Businessword, he profiles the health care proposals of Democratic front-runners Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. Now my astute guess is that no Democrat could come up with a proposal that Don would like while remaining a Democrat and Don’s pretty scathing about both of these. But that’s not the relevant part here.  What is relevant is that neither of them (and none of the other "leading" Democrat contenders) really has anything much "big" to say about the subject. 

Ok, I know that they have proposals but everyone knows that proposals get watered down, and getting insurance from 86% to 90% of Americans may be a laudable aim, but it’s not exactly massive system reform. So this tells me that neither of these guys (one a triangulator, the other a military liberal) thinks that health care reform that would actually matter (i.e. cover the uninsured and/or limit costs & incomes in the health-care sector) is either a) possible or b) politically appealing to the Democratic base who’s vote they need to get the nomination. 

I understand that the Democratic faithful have some other things to think about, but apparently double digit premium increases and 43 million uninsured are not enough to get any Democrats other than those few wishing for a Kucinich miracle talking about real universal health care.  That tells me that politically health care (aside from Medicare) is a dead issue next year, and the political result for health care in 2005 will be either be nothing more from the Bush administration or not too much from a Democratic one.

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