Politics May Strain Health Care Reform

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Republican majorities in Congress passed the largest expansion of federal government health spending in decades with the Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003, with strong support from President Bush.

One has to wonder if there are more than economic ideology differences at work on either side. Even Rush Limbaugh said about the stimulus plan: “I don’t think it’s designed to stimulate anything but the Democrat Party.”

Recent economics research suggests Limbaugh may be right on the politics. My co-authors and I found that government programs powerfully impact voters. We studied the South American democracy of Uruguay, where a charismatic, new…