When former president Jimmy Carter said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” recently that the late Sen. Edward Kennedy killed a health care initiative during Carter’s failed administration, he scared up a ghost or two. Mr. Dodd quickly came to the defense of his departed friend, telling Reuters that factors unrelated to Kennedy doomed Carter’s health plan:
“At the time … you had 22 percent inflation, you had gas lines going everywhere,” Dodd said. “The idea that healthcare was going to be a major debate in ‘79 is sort of selective history. I don’t think there was any room for that debate in ‘79.”Today, of course, the times are more propitious: a national debt is approaching 14 trillion (in Carter's last year it was about $1 trillion); bailouts of failing Wall Street investment firms, banks and housing mortgage ponzi schemes; inflation, breathing heavily, waiting in the wings; an expensive regulatory apparatus with Dodd’s fingerprints all over it that surely will drive up the cost of nearly everything from soup to nuts; a possible double dip recession (good news) or a possible depression (bad news for everyone but those who long for a command economy); a war on two fronts in the Middle East; a state debt in Connecticut that is, per capita, the worst in the nation – all this, and more, make an expensive health care bill that only a few congressman who signed it bothered to read a brilliant idea-- just brilliant.