04 February 2008

The Lessons of 1994

Some good news on the prospects for reform from the TNR blog:

Today the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced it would be launching a $75 million election-year campaign on behalf of universal coverage. ... the effort will feature paid advertising to "draw sharp distinctions between the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees' approach to health care, and what those differences will mean to working families." But it's not just a bunch of television and magazine spots the union has in mind. They're also planning to finance what sounds like a pretty substantial ground effort, including a rolling publicity tour to stage events across the country and an outreach effort designed to collect stories of hardship -- which, surely, will help spread the word about reforms, as well.
What's more important than the dollar amount, though, is the show of commitment -- and, in particular, the timing of it. As veterans of the 1993-94 Clinton health care fight know, that effort failed was the fact that the political pressure came overwhemlingly from one side. When the drugmakers, small insurers, and others opposed to the Clinton bill started running their advertisements ... the administration was largely left to fight back on their own. Expected support from unions and other sympathetic groups didn't materialize until it was too late.
Nice to see it coalescing early...

1 comment:

  1. Here an alternate point of view from my blog: http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2008/02/75-million-thanks-but-id-rather-not.html

    ReplyDelete