Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Honesty as a policy choice

From Robert B. Reich's review of The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office, by David Blumenthal and James A. Morone, in The New York Times last Sunday.
Blumenthal and Morone’s most provocative finding is that presidents who have been most successful in moving the country toward universal health coverage have disregarded or overruled their economic advisers. [President Lyndon] Johnson rejected his advisers’ estimates and intentionally lowballed the cost. “I’ll spend the goddamn money.” An honest economic forecast would most likely have sunk Medicare.

How's that working out?
It’s not so much that presidential economic advisers have been wrong--in fact, Medicare is well on its way to bankrupting the nation--

A mark against it, you, I, and presidential economic advisers might think.
...but that they are typically in the business of thinking small and trying to minimize risk, while the herculean task of expanding health coverage entails great vision and large risk.

In this case the vision of universal health coverage and the risk, approximately 100% it appears, of it taking a form the cost of which will bankrupt the nation.


Blogger Dad29 said...

No skin off THEIR nose.

1:20 PM  

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