Focus: Washington: A new season for health reform

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 19 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1324
  1. J Roberts

    The health system that Congress refused to reform in 1994 has been largely responsible for the reformation of Congress in 1995. The past year's health debate contributed in at least two ways to the rout of the Democrats and the rise of the Republicans in this month's congressional elections.

    Firstly, the Democrats, despite holding a majority in the 1994 Congress, couldn't mobilise that majority to support even their No 1 priority - health reform. Secondly, and more importantly, the president became a liability. Bill Clinton was elected as a “new Democrat,” in support of the private sector and against big government. But his Health Security Act was seen as expanding the role of government. The Republicans successfully portrayed his plan …

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