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, 29 (6), 1112-6

Long Time Coming: Why Health Reform Finally Passed


Long Time Coming: Why Health Reform Finally Passed

Jonathan Oberlander. Health Aff (Millwood).


Health reformers have an established record of losing. Going into 2009, there were plenty of reasons to believe that they would fail again. A polarized political environment, soaring budget deficits, and myriad other obstacles stood in the way. Yet the Obama administration and congressional Democrats defied the odds. Democrats won the 2009-10 health reform battle by successfully applying lessons learned from past failures, including the importance of neutralizing interest-group opposition. The result is historic legislation that, given the constraints imposed by both the U.S. political and health systems, is probably as good as it gets.

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