Ezra Klein interviewed Paul Krugman on his new book the other day. And it seems that Krugman believes as I do, real universal health care would usher in a true progressive day as it would affirm to Americans that a government that works for the citizens of the United States can be relied upon to do things right.
EK: And one thing you sort of suggest in the book is that universal health care isn't merely good policy but has the potential to act as the wedge on rolling a lot of this back, on changing how people think of government, what they think of what their responsibility to each other is -- that it has a cultural component.
PK: Yeah, I mean this is one of the few things on which William Kristol and I are in complete agreement. Bill Kristol had this famous memo during the defeat of the Clinton health care plan saying, we as Republicans must ensure that there is no plan because if there is a plan, if Clinton gets something, it will legitimize, re-legitimize the welfare state, and he's right. Universal health care is important and worth doing in its own right, but it also clearly would be a demonstration that you can do good things, that government can make society safer and more equitable, which is why conservatives are so hysterical over even S-CHIP. If we can get heath care, and I think we have slightly better than even odds that we can, it does change the whole set of norms.
(Note Reagan thought government was the enemy. Well, we now have definite experience that Republicans in thrall to rightwing orthodoxy are the real enemy of the people and our Constitution.)Posted by Mary at October 27, 2007 12:36 AM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |