Ecclesiastical and political pragmatism, with a beat
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Kennedy's Biggest Policy Mistake
Daniel Schorr made it perfectly clear on CBS. In February 1971, President Nixon proposed requiring employers to buy insurance for 150 million working Americans and their families and pay up to three-quarters of the cost of the premiums. The poorest Americans would've gotten 100% government-funded policies. Older Americans would've had their Medicare premiums covered by the feds. The self-employed would have gotten government help for their premiums as well.
Sen. Kennedy called the $2 billion-a-year Nixon plan a boondoggle for the insurance companies and held out for a $60 billion-a-year government takeover of the health care system. The Nixon plan died in Congress. Meeting the former President in 1993, First Lady Hillary Clinton said that Congress had erred in failing to embrace his proposal.