Sunday, October 13, 2013



It's not often that I find fault with present and past Presidents of my political party, but it seems to me that both President Clinton and President Obama blundered in their attempts to achieve universal health care for all Americans.  Without their blunders, we would have a universal health care system in place and running.

As I noted in a previous blog entry, Clinton ignored Senator John Chafee's attempt to achieve a universal system.  Chafee's plan was simple: simply use the existing system that relies on private insurance and large employers providing a large pool of insured clients to enable the insurers to offer low premiums, coupled with a requirement that every person buy health insurance.  That's essentially the system Obama persuaded Congress to adopt three or four years ago.  Chafee had a lot of support for his plan.  Both Republican and Democratic Senators signed on as co-sponsors.  However, Clinton ha a better idea.  He ignored Chafee's work and pressed ahead with his own plan.  The result was that we go nothing in 1993 and the Republicans took over control of the House in 1994.

Obama's blunder was to ignore Chafee's work but to proceed to get Congress to enact Chafee's plan and then to claim credit for it.  If he had acknowledged up front that the plan was the work of Republican Senator John Chafee and named the plan the "John Chafee Memorial Health Care Act of 2009" it seems to me that the majority of Republicans would have supported it.  They couldn't have opposed it on the ground that Obama was getting the credit for universal health care.  Obama was giving the credit to Senator Chafee.

Now we'll have to wait and see how it works.  Maybe it won't.  In that case, we'll have to try for the "Single Payer" plan, like the one in Canada.
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