Flies in the Ointment

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Last September, economist Henry Aaron was preparing to meet Bill Clinton to talk about health care when he got a call from a Clinton aide who said abruptly, "Don't come." A scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Aaron had been asked to advise the presidential candidate, then campaigning in Michigan, on ways to finance his expansive health-care goals. Aaron agreed to brief him, but declared in advance that he rejected the easy assumptions of Clinton's staff members that health insurance could be guaranteed to all merely by targeting "waste, fraud and abuse." Aaron stated that "the savings that some...

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