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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A good start

Massachusetts lawmakers deserve credit for finally putting together a plan to try and close the health insurance gap. The real test is about to come though.

The national headlines are justified for the long, hard slog to try to do the right thing. (Even if Mitt Romney now gets to try and take credit for something for which he had minimal responsibility in the end).

But as we are already learning, the bill has understandable compromises that guarantee that it will be difficult to implement.

And no one should ever forget we've been through this already. A governor looking to burnish a reputation as he set out on the national campaign trail held an elaborate signing ceremony/celebration for a health care law that was hammered out by the Legislature. Bold promises were made about universal coverage.

The time was 1988. The governor was Michael Dukakis. He was joined by legislative leaders in saying the landmark law was affordable.

Within three years he was gone. Shortly after that, so was the law, done in by a newly elected governor, mounting expenses and a promise to cut taxes.

Will history repeat itself? Stay tuned.


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