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Healthcare

Krugman's take on the latest

Is this the end for Harry and Louise?

Harry and Louise were the fictional couple who appeared in advertisements run by the insurance industry in 1993, fretting about what would happen if "government bureaucrats" started making health care decisions. The ads helped kill the Clinton health care plan, and have stood, ever since, as a symbol of the ability of powerful special interests to block health care reform.

But on Saturday, excited administration officials called me to say that this time the medical-industrial complex (their term, not mine) is offering to be helpful.

Six major industry players -- including America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a descendant of the lobbying group that spawned Harry and Louise -- have sent a letter to President Obama sketching out a plan to control health care costs. What's more, the letter implicitly endorses much of what administration officials have been saying about health economics.

Are there reasons to be suspicious about this gift? You bet -- and I'll get to that in a bit. But first things first: on the face of it, this is tremendously good news.


 

Comments

Oh yes, of course this gift is suspicious. All I'm hoping for is a first-step-opening-the-door kind of process.

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