Read Leonhardt and his links

Last night David Leonhardt published an interesting column and blog post. Both are worth reading in full, as is much of the content to which they link. The subject is the history of opposition to U.S. social insurance programs, even those that are now very popular like Medicare and Social Security.

The column ends with a review of the role of the individual mandate in health reform and includes this bit of history worth recalling:

Just look at Massachusetts. In 1996, it barred insurers from setting rates based on a person’s health but did not mandate that individuals sign up for insurance. Premiums then spiked. Since the state added a mandate in 2006, more people have signed up, and premiums have dropped an average of 40 percent.

If you’re looking for historical quotes on opposition to progressive legislation, Leonhardt delivers. In his post, he cites:

There’s more, but I’ll let you discover it for yourself.

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