Radical Surgery

Steered by a reformer who ponders every option, Clinton's health-care plan stresses freedom of choice

When Ira Magaziner was still only a multimillionaire management consultant, General Electric asked him to figure out how to wring a profit from its giant TV-manufacturing unit. Many a hired gun might have sized up the problem by looking at production flow charts or pricing tables. Not Magaziner. He hit the shop floor and began taking apart TV sets with his bare hands, assessing the cost of the components, piece by piece. His conclusion: GE's profit margins could be found not in producing the set's electronic components but in building its plastic-and-wood casing and picture tube, a process that could be...

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