I finished reading Paul Starr’s Remedy and Reaction. This is an extraordinarily readable discussion of health insurance. The book is worth getting for the first chapter alone, which summarizes reform efforts from the progressive era through Carter with enough detail to articulate why programs like Medicare succeeded versus the many others that failed.
Starr then devotes chapter length treatments to the Clinton and Obama plans, describing why the Clinton plan ran off the rails and how Obama was determined to avoid the same fate. I couldn’t help but walk away with much more respect for both men for their efforts.