POLICY: The Lessons of ’94

Ezra Klein, who I think is hanging with Brian Klepper at Families USA — where Don Berwick is hopefuly showing the link between system reform and insurance reform Friday— has a nice article out on the The Lessons of ’94. I, being biased and an arrogant git, slightly prefer this take on the matter.

But the basic question is, will things be bad enough to override the coming opposition of the health care industry to going after their goose? Remember that we need three convergent factors to actually get health care reform that means anything. 1) The Democrats to win big enough in November to both take White House in a canter, and a bigger chunk of the Senate. 2) A new spirit of political ruthlessness (perhaps they could hire Karl Rove, who seems to have time on his hands?) and 3) radical increase in middle class and more importantly middle-class voter insecurity about their continuity of insurance coverage. Translation for #3 is a bad mother of a recession that seems to have no end.

I don’t think we get any of the above….but at least one guy who seems to understand markets a little better than I (around $6bn better) thinks that #3 is coming.


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Jeff GoldsmithPeter Recent comment authors
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Sorry, found it. You need to work past “Salon”. I’m sure Republicans, those bastians of fiscal responsibility, will brand the Soros view as just another rant from the devil himself and an athiest plot. One line from Soros seems to get to the nub:”It was a shocking abdication of responsibility.” The next abdication was the mortgage bailout plan (reward the thieves and suckers). And now this (one time?) infusion of $150b will do little to put people into financial security. It assumes they have cash reserves and just a little nudge will cause them to spend those reserves so we… Read more »

Jeff Goldsmith
Jeff Goldsmith

Interesting article. The Clintons overestimated the amount of economic insecurity in the voting public in 1994. The 1990-91 recession was concentrated on Democratic turf-the Northeast and far West Coast, and was led by a sharp downturn in defense spending after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The South and Midwest, with limited defense contracting, barely noticed. The last serious recession in those parts of the country was 27 years ago. Southerners and Midwesterners elected George Bush President. A little more fear isn’t necessarily going to produce a better health reform outcome. The Clintons also overestimated the level of voter trust… Read more »


“but at least one guy who seems to understand markets a little better than I (around $6bn better) thinks that #3 is coming.”
Can’t get there from here. Any thoughts Matthew on connecting the link? All I get is Yahoo Salon.