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:
- The New Republic’s list of quotations in opposition to child-labor laws, woman’s suffrage and various other civil rights and benefits.
- The Service Employees International Union’s list of quotations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on health care.
- Time Magazine’s piece on the historical opposition to Social Security.
There’s more, but I’ll let you discover it for yourself.