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The Unlikely Path to Health Care Reform

For a while now I've wondered whether Obama and Congressional Democrats had the wit to note the possible precedent of the tax reform effort of 1986.  A bill came out of the House that neither Reagan nor House Republicans liked, but Reagan asked the House GOP to support it promising that the Senate would either fix it, or that Reagan would veto the final bill if it still wasn't any good.  The Senate started from scratch, and wrote a bill that, while far from optimal, represented a genuine compromise wherein both Republicans and Democrats got something big that they each wanted.

Today in the New York Times Bill Bradley lays out exactly how the tax reform lesson might be replicated today.  Basically, the Democrats would have to give up the trial lawyers, and Republicans would have to give in to expanded care.  I give it less than one chance in ten of happening. 
Categories > Health Care

Discussions - 3 Comments

The situation is not analogous. Then as now, the tax code was a hopelessly rococo document incorporating a haphazardly constructed capital allocation policy. The principal division was between legislators protecting their clientele at all costs (oil patch denizens, &c) and legislators who were willing to forego sectoral subsidies for gains in efficiency and equity. The division was not predominantly partisan or ideological. The initiators of tax reform were Bradley himself and Donald T. Regan, Mr. Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury. Some type of bipartisan co-operation was necessary from the outset because the Democratic Party remained in organizational control of the House of Representatives.

The situation is not analogous. Then as now, the tax code was a hopelessly rococo document incorporating a haphazardly constructed capital allocation policy. The principal division was between legislators protecting their clientele at all costs (oil patch denizens, &c) and legislators who were willing to forego sectoral subsidies for gains in efficiency and equity. The division was not predominantly partisan or ideological. The initiators of tax reform were Bradley himself and Donald T. Regan, Mr. Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury. Some type of bipartisan co-operation was necessary from the outset because the Democratic Party remained in organizational control of the House of Representatives.

The situation is not analogous. Then as now, the tax code was a hopelessly rococo document incorporating a haphazardly constructed capital allocation policy. The principal division was between legislators protecting their clientele at all costs (oil patch denizens, &c) and legislators who were willing to forego sectoral subsidies for gains in efficiency and equity. The division was not predominantly partisan or ideological. The initiators of tax reform were Bradley himself and Donald T. Regan, Mr. Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury. Some type of bipartisan co-operation was necessary from the outset because the Democratic Party remained in organizational control of the House of Representatives.

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