I’d been meaning to take issue with Matthew Cooper for saying it is “total revisionism” to blame the Clintons’ hardball tactics for sinking their own health care reform bill. Ramesh Ponnuru has already said what there is to say, including Cooper’s snide aside about Republican opposition to the public option.
Cooper: “And now that the outlines of a real plan are on the table we see the wolves gathering, first in opposition to the very seensible idea of a public plan-because Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich HATED their health insurance when they were in government-and then surely later to the whole cost of the package.” Ponnuru: “The federal employee health benefits plan provides employees with a lot of options, but none of them is government-run.”
The only thing I’d add is that one need not be “naive about the way Washington works” to understand that Democrats who had been serving on Capitol Hill for decades had no desire to be dictated to from a president who had just arrived from Little Rock. The Clintons’ mistakes were far from the only thing that doomed their health plan, but those Democratic committee chairmen might have been able to craft a bill less vulnerable to interest group opposition than Hillarycare.
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