August 19, 2005

Why Conservatives Killed Health Care Reform

It’s impossible to talk about healthcare reform without mentioning President Clinton’s efforts to improve the system. We all know he wasn’t able to do it, and we’re all living with the consequences.

It’s important then, to keep in mind exactly why conservatives opposed his initiative so vociferously. This particular quote from a historical timeline of the initiative sums it up:

December 2, 1993 - Leading conservative operative William Kristol privately circulates a strategy document to Republicans in Congress. Kristol writes that congressional Republicans should work to "kill"not amendthe Clinton plan because it presents a real danger to the Republican future: Its passage will give the Democrats a lock on the crucial middle-class vote and revive the reputation of the party. Nearly a full year before Republicans will unite behind the "Contract With America," Kristol has provided the rationale and the steel for them to achieve their aims of winning control of Congress and becoming America's majority party. Killing health care will serve both ends. The timing of the memo dovetails with a growing private consensus among Republicans that all-out opposition to the Clinton plan is in their best political interest. Until the memo surfaces, most opponents prefer behind-the-scenes warfare largely shielded from public view. The boldness of Kristol's strategy signals a new turn in the battle. Not only is it politically acceptable to criticize the Clinton plan on policy grounds, it is also politically advantageous.

So basically the attitude of congressional Republicans was: “screw the people, what counts most is our own political gain.” After all, congressmen receive an excellent government provided healthcare plan.  They had nothing to lose.

[Some will claim that the Democrats are similarly opposing Bush’s Social Security scheme out of political opportunism. The difference is that rather than looking out for the average American, William Kristol and other conservative strategists have wanted to kill Social Security for years. Their strategy, which is Bush’s, was articulated by the bowtie-wearing College RepublicansHey Hey, Ho Ho, Social Security has Got to Go.”]

We know these guys are never going to fix the healthcare system. Where are the leaders who will?  Which candidate is running on a universal healthcare platform? Let me know so I can support their campaign.

By Will Friedman in Health Care | Permalink  | 


An excellent post on a subject that is very important to me. What is a society for if not to care for each other?

Posted by: SheaNC | Aug 20, 2005 1:41:15 AM

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.

Posted by: Blue Cross of California | Dec 6, 2005 9:40:21 PM

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