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Commentary
May 5, 2010

Is History Relevant to Implementing Health Reform?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Milbank Memorial Fund, New York, New York (Dr Fox); and Center for the History of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (Dr Markel).

JAMA. 2010;303(17):1749-1750. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.556

On March 5, 2009, from a bully pulpit in the East Room of the White House, President Barack Obama opened a health care conference with a historical parable. “Since Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform nearly a century ago,” the president said, “we have talked and we have tinkered. We have tried and fallen short, we’ve stalled for time, and again we have failed to act because of Washington politics or industry lobbying.”1

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