Why Democrats are winning on health care

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This is from my latest column for National Journal. The piece does not so much as mention Giuliani's prostate.

The politics of the issue has moved a long way in the Democrats' favor. Public opinion has shifted, the polls say, in favor of universal coverage as a goal. Worries over the rising cost and availability of health insurance are a big part of the wider trend of rising economic anxiety. Americans' desire to see this problem fixed is greater now than it was in the early 1990s, when Hillary Rodham Clinton's previous health reform proposal was shot down.



At the same time, the Democrats -- and, above all, Clinton herself -- have radically altered their approach to the issue. Look at the way she pitches her plan on her campaign website. If you are happy with your existing health insurance arrangements, she insists, nothing will change. After the "Hillarycare" fiasco, that reassurance is crucial.



The Democrats' schemes all envisage an expanded government role -- as they must, if universal coverage is to be achieved -- but they are not single-payer "socialized medicine" plans. Moreover, that fact is obvious. The Republicans' insistence that these schemes amount to socialized medicine is implausible and smacks of desperation. The voters are not buying it.

You can read the whole column here.  In two weeks the link will point to a new article, and this piece will disappear behind the NJ's subscription barrier. One more thing. The column refers to brilliant reporting by NJ's Marilyn Werber Serafini. Her cover package on all the main candidates' health-care proposals can be reached through this link, which (I think) does not expire.

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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