The Heritage Foundation on Health, 1989

Every once in a while people make the point that much of what eventually became Obamacare came from, of all places, the Heritage Foundation – that is, the ACA is basically what conservatives used to advocate on health care. So I recently reread Stuart Butler’s 1989 Heritage Foundation lecture, “Assuring Affordable Health Care For All Americans” – hmm, where have I seen similar language? — to see how true that is; and the answer is, it really is pretty much true. ….

Overall, what’s striking about the Heritage plan is that it’s not notably more conservative than what Obama actually implemented: a bit less regulation, a substantial amount of additional spending. If Obamacare is an extreme leftist measure, as so many Republicans claim, the Heritage Foundation in the 1980s was a leftist institution.

Paul Krugman, “Heritage On Health, 1989“, The Conscience of a Liberal, 30 July 2017.

Professor Krugman’s blog is gated, but the lecture that he cites is freely available for anyone who would like to read it. It does seem more leftist than conservative. How times have changed since the 1980s!

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