The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage

Jonathan Cohn. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-27093-1
HuffPost correspondent Cohn (Sick) delivers an engrossing behind-the-scenes account of the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Drawing on interviews with President Obama and other key players, Cohn illustrates how the compromises needed to pass the legislation (namely, the abandonment of the public option) left progressive advocates unsatisfied and led to Medicare for All becoming a central issue of the 2020 Democratic primary. Cohn also sketches the history of healthcare as a political cause, noting that President Nixon was open to universal coverage in the 1970s, and that conservatives embraced Republican governor Mitt Romney’s creation of an individual mandate requiring people to purchase healthcare coverage in Massachusetts, before opposing the same policy as part of Obamacare. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act will be shocked by the sloppy wording that left it vulnerable to being overturned by the Supreme Court, and impressed by the details of Nancy Pelosi’s maneuvering to get it across the finish line in Congress. This is a comprehensive and essential look at “arguably the most important and controversial piece of legislation in the last few decades.” Agent: Kathy Robbins, the Robbins Office. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/25/2020
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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