Watch this Link: Will Heritage Scrub Its Obamacare History?
Mike the Mad Biologist leads me to a host of articles on the crazy things going on at Heritage Foundation, especially since former Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina took over as president of the organization. Mike quotes Alex Pareene at length on how the rise of MBAs running both the Foundation (DeMint) and Heritage Action (Michael Needham) has turned Heritage from a respected think tank into a mainly political organization of the hard right. Pareene, in turn, leads to a good analysis by Julia Ioffe in The New Republic.
As regular readers know, Heritage is an organization that I’ve already lost most respect for, it being famous both for proposing Obamacare’s main components and denying that it is responsible for the individual mandate. This has been well-debunked in both Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, by Avik Roy and James Taranto respectively.
My modest contribution was to note that the January 1989 research report Taranto found in the Heritage archives was actually noted on its cover, “Revised Edition.” This pushes the original research back into 1988 at least and clearly refutes Stuart Butler’s claim that the individual mandate was a response to Hillarycare. In fact, it was a response to the considerable political groundswell for single payer in the 1980s.
The question is how far the deterioration of the Heritage research mandate will go. I think one clear indicator would be if Heritage decides to take the 1984 “Ministry of Truth” route and delete the research from its website. So far, it has yet to stoop that low. But when “A National Health System for America, Revised Edition,” can no longer be downloaded, we will know another big step in the hyper-politicization of Heritage has taken place. Should it happen, and you need a copy, email me and I will send you a copy of the pdf document on a “fair use” basis.
You will know it has happened when you can no longer download the report from
Maybe you should create one of those one shot web sites to keep track of this, like the Abe Vigoda is alive site http://www.abevigoda.com/
(No, I have no idea who Abe Vigoda is, though I’m glad to see he’s still alive.)
Abe is a character actor who played Fish on the Barney Miller show, 1975-77, then had his own spin off for year or so.
After exaggerated reports of his demise in ’82 and 87, his non death has been the subject of a number of running gags.
On the flip side the web-site generalissimofranciscofranco.snl is still reporting that he is in fact STILL dead.
Good to know.
I don’t know why they would bother, given the radical dissimilarity between the Heritage plan to mandate largely unregulated catastrophic insurance while destroying Medicare and Medicaid and the ACA. When they say they didn’t design the crucial components of the ACA they’re 100% right, and it’s people using this now worse-than-useless talking point who are wrong.
Scott, perhaps you are reading the report differently than I am. On page 51, the first principle is a mandate to buy sufficient insurance, monitored via the tax system and backed up by a fine for non-compliance. You are right that it advocates the purchase of catastrophic policies, but the mandate/tax system/fine approach all remain in the ACA.
Moreover, report co-editor Haislmaier was an adviser to Romney for his version of the mandate. Needless to say, what constitutes “sufficient” insurance was a critical part of the debate in Massachusetts. From various news reports I looked at on Nexis, it appears catastrophic insurance could avoid the fine, but the fact is that most people want more insurance than that. Conservatives have to deal with that reality, but the mandate enforced with fines through the tax system is right there in January 1989, It’s not the ACA by a long shot, but it is a critical element in the ACA.