Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goldwein: What Obama Needs to Learn from the Failure of Bush's Social Security Plan and Clinton's Healthcare Reform

The New America Foundation's Marc Goldwein looks at the lessons President Obama can take from President Bush's 2005 Social Security reform drive and President Clinton's 1993 efforts at health care reform:

Although the features of Clinton's health care reform and Bush's Social Security reform were quite different, I believe they failed for the same reason: crowded politics. In both cases, the overwhelmingly number of groups and individuals interested in the issue created a paralysis, ultimately leading to the reform's downfall.

Gone are the days when policy design was negotiated and controlled through small Iron Triangles consisting of the relevant executive agency, the congressional committees of jurisdiction, and at most a handful of interest groups. Since the 1970s, the number of associations has more than doubled, the number of lobbyists has quadrupled, and the number of think tanks has grown six fold.
Meanwhile, academics, politicians, and private citizens have become more interested and informed in a wider array of policy areas.

Read the whole article here.

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