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Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 2000

Abstract

This case provides a succinct account of the high profile failure of the Clinton Administration''s initiative to reorganize the US health care and health insurance system so as to provide universal coverage at the same time as controlling costs. The case traces the origins of the reform impetus and describes the structure and proposal of the Administration''s health care task force, chaired by First Lady Hillary Clinton and directed by Ira Magaziner. The case focuses, however, on the extent and nature of opposition to the plan, particularly from the business community, implicitly raising the questions of how the Administration might have handled matters differently and what factors -- whether substance or tactics or both -- allowed the opposition to be successful. The case is a vehicle, too, for discussion of the business-government relationship in the U.S. through its focus both on the nature of the US health insurance system (largely linked to private employment) and on the variety of business and interest groups within the US private sector.

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Abstract

This case provides a succinct account of the high profile failure of the Clinton Administration''s initiative to reorganize the US health care and health insurance system so as to provide universal coverage at the same time as controlling costs. The case traces the origins of the reform impetus and describes the structure and proposal of the Administration''s health care task force, chaired by First Lady Hillary Clinton and directed by Ira Magaziner. The case focuses, however, on the extent and nature of opposition to the plan, particularly from the business community, implicitly raising the questions of how the Administration might have handled matters differently and what factors -- whether substance or tactics or both -- allowed the opposition to be successful. The case is a vehicle, too, for discussion of the business-government relationship in the U.S. through its focus both on the nature of the US health insurance system (largely linked to private employment) and on the variety of business and interest groups within the US private sector.

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