NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Health Policy in the Clinton Era: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

David Cutler, Jonathan Gruber

NBER Working Paper No. 8455
Issued in September 2001
NBER Program(s):   HC   PE

This paper reviews the formation and outcomes of health policy making during the Clinton Administration. We begin by reviewing the state of the health economy at the dawn of the Clinton era. We then review the promise and pitfalls of the Health Security Act, and its implications for all health policy that followed. We then turn to discussing accomplishments and failures in a variety of other areas of health policy: coverage expansions; insurance market regulation; Medicaid reforms; long term care; tobacco regulation; and other public health. We conclude that the dramatic failure of the HSA led to a very cautious and incremental approach to health policy making in subsequent years, but that viewed from the perspective of that that low point the health policy gains in the Clinton years were actually quite substantial.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8455

Published: Frankel, Jeffrey A. and Peter R. Orszag (eds.) American Economic Policy in the 1990s. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.

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