A Triumph of Misinformation by James Fallows
I'm too young to remember what the health-care debate was like in 1994, but everything going wrong today is in here.
"The other purely political calculation concerned sales strategy. Throughout his campaign Bill Clinton had emphsized the overall cost of medical care as a central evil."
"polls showed . . . that most people supported the idea behind Clinton's plan. . . . [M]ost people also believed that the plan would drive costs up, not down. . . . [T]he more the administration emphasized its cost-control themes, the less believable it would become."
The administration even tried to ram the bill through as part of budget reconciliation, and made the misstep of letting the polarizing spending bill pass first setting the stage for partisan conflict.
The only thing missing is a personal blemish on the President like Whitewater and a task force writing the bill. Of course, Obama's choice to let congress write the bill may turn out worse because we still have no specific bill and it let legislators commit the mistake of a bill only slightly "'left of center' . . . [which] when Republicans lost interest became a liability."
Update: The Barack Obama edition even has Betsy McCaughey