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Center for Policy Research

Policy Brief

The Rhetoric and the Reality of Health Care Reform Legislation

Marilyn Moon

C.P.R. Policy Brief No. 4

June 1995


A plethora of political autopsies have been performed on the Clinton Administration's failed health care reform of 1994--it was too much; it was too late; there was too much pandering; there was too little pandering. Such critiques of this complex undertaking are at least partially correct. It was probably hubris to believe that such a comprehensive health care reform package could be proposed and passed in a single year. But much of the instant analysis of its failure has repeated the rhetoric of the debate rather than stepping back and placing the events of 1994 in perspective. Here the author focuses on five areas where rhetoric confused the debate, and compares them with the underlying realities of health care reform.

Sponsored by the The Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture series, which is jointly sponsored by Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and is administered by the Center for Policy Research and The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.

The Center for Policy Research Policy Brief series is a collection of essays on current public policy issues in aging; urban and regional studies; education finance and accountability; public finance; social welfare, poverty, and income security; and related research done by or on behalf of the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

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