Nixon and Obama do share one thing in common

May 13th, 2013

Both Presidents tried to enact comprehensive health care reform that would have ensured that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance. Neither succeeded.

Read Nixon’s speech. It is stunning that such words came from a Republican in 1974:

Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities. It is thus just as important that economic, racial and social barriers not stand in the way of good health care as it is to eliminate those barriers to a good education and a good job.

Three years ago, I proposed a major health insurance program to the Congress, seeking to guarantee adequate financing of health care on a nationwide basis. That proposal generated

The plan is organized around seven principles:

First, it offers every American an opportunity to obtain a balanced, comprehensive range of health insurance benefits;

Second, it will cost no American more than he can afford to pay;
Third, it builds on the strength and diversity of our existing public and private systems of health financing and harmonizes them into an overall system;

Fourth, it uses public funds only where needed and requires no new Federal taxes;

Fifth, it would maintain freedom of choice by patients and ensure that doctors work for their patient, not for the Federal Government.

Sixth, it encourages more effective use of our health care resources;

And finally, it is organized so that all parties would have a direct stake in making the system work–consumer, provider, insurer, State governments and the Federal Government.

Alacrity aside, the comparisons between Obama and Nixon are starting to appear more viable. If you’re interested in a different take on Nixon, check out my friends Penny Lane and Brian Frye, who produced this awesome documentary, “Our Nixon,” that involves the home-movies taken inside the Nixon White house.

Update: This piece from John Yoo is too precious:

The Justice Department’s seizure of the AP’s phone records shows that this administration cares far more about power than political and civil liberty.  It has intruded on the freedom of the press in ways that the allegedly power-hungry Bush Administration would never have dreamed.

When the Bush administration was wracked with the leaks of classified information about its counter-terrorism policies, most notably its interrogation and electronic surveillance programs, Democrats in Congress happily took advantage of the information. Nary a peep was heard about protecting national security and preventing the media from publishing classified information.

But now President Obama has to live in the leak-happy world that he and his colleagues created to undermine the last administration. And they don’t like it. Unlike the Bush administration, however, they are willing to go to lengths that threaten the freedom of the press to stop it — this administration has conducted far more investigations and prosecutions for leaking than its predecessors. And, for the most part, this administration has gotten away with it from the press, which has given them a pass on civil liberties compared to how they treated Republicans.