Health Care Reform: Then and Now

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!


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by Steve Buckstein

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In 1993, syndicated columnist Mike Royko had some choice words about Hillary Clinton’s national health care reform. Seventeen years later his words seem just as appropriate for Barack Obama’s plan. Here’s an extended quote:

“I listened to much of her testimony about how and why the health care program would be terrific for all of us. And I couldn’t figure out what the heck she was talking about. It was a deadly combination of bureaucratic jargon and legal jargon. And if any congressman claims to have understood it, he has been in Washington too long.

“I understood the basic pitch: Somehow we are all going to have better health care. Somehow everyone in America will be covered by a medical plan. And somehow it won’t cost us more money.

“And somehow I think that is one of the biggest political con jobs I have ever heard. Which explains why so many congressmen were drooling like happy puppies. They specialize in political con jobs. And what better way to con voters than by telling them: ‘Have I got a deal for you—something for nothing. Just sign here on the ballot.’

“Before you respond, ‘Yeah, but what do you know?’ I’ll admit I’m not an economist, a lawyer, a congressman, or a health care expert. All I am is someone who has managed—without the help of politicians or Hillary Rodham Clinton—to provide my family with good medical care for the past four decades.

“Which is what the vast majority of Americans have been doing, without the help of politicians and the federal bureaucracy.”

If Royko were alive today, I have a feeling he’d tell his fellow Chicagoan, President Obama, the same things.

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