By MARK PENN
Published June 18, 2009
Everyone knows the story of what went wrong in 1993 with health care reform: virtually everything.
The plan was written by a White House task force, all the health care interests bitterly opposed it and spent heavily against it, the Republicans moved to kill it, Democrats in Congress got cold feet, and the reputations of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton administration were thrown for a loop. The 1994 midterm elections changed both houses of Congress, and for years afterward, health care reform was achieved only incrementally.
While Hillary Clinton and others spearheaded the move to cover 6 million children with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, little else got done. Medical records remain a shambles, the medical malpractice system is broken, the number of uninsured is up and the Medicare trust fund is looking like a subprime mortgage.
The core political problem of health care is really not about all of the rhetoric or posturing. It’s about the math of universal health care.