The Washington Monthly has a very good article about the health insurance reform debate over whether or not to scuttle the House and Senate bills and start over. They characterize it as a battle within the battle between the Left activists and the Left policy wonks. A really good read:
The conclusion of the WM is that we should not start over, but remain focused on future legislation, and they use past legislative history to remind us it ia a process. I’ll repost my history of Social Security here, because it is a kind of revelation.
The Social Security Act was passed by Congress as part of the New Deal and signed by Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. Most women and minorities were excluded from the benefits. Jobs that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers. The act also denied coverage to individuals who worked intermittently.
__1950 After years of debates about the inclusion of domestic labor, household employees working at least two days a week for the same person were added in, along with nonprofit workers and the self-employed.
__1954 Hotel workers, laundry workers, all agricultural workers, and state and local government employees were added in.
__ 1956 Disability benefits were added; women were allowed to retire at 62 with benefits reduced by 25%. Widows of covered workers were allowed to retire at 62 without the reduction in benefits.
__1961 Retirement at age 62 was extended to men.
__1962 Benefits of covered women could be collected by dependent husbands, widowers, and children.
—1965 MEDICARE was added, part of President Johnson’s Great Society program. The age at which widows could begin collecting benefits was reduced to 60. Widowers were not included in this change. When divorce became the major cause of marriages ending, divorcées were added to the list of recipients.
__1972 The bill also set up a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to take effect in 1975. Amendments also established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Immigrants who had never paid into the system became eligible for SSI benefits when they reached age 65. SSI is not a Social Security benefit, but a welfare program, because the elderly and disabled poor are entitled to SSI regardless of work history.
__1977-1990’s Amendments regarding the indexing of payments and dealing with the Trust Fund were enacted.
And here’s a short few paragraphs in The New Republic trying to cheer we progressives: