Krugman on the Chances for Universal Health Care

Ezra Klein interviews Krugman in The American Prospect:

EK: And why do you think there’s slight better than even odds that we can get it? Why will this time succeed when so many others failed?

PK: First, there’s a progressive movement where there wasn’t one before. Clinton came in when the Democratic Party was basically an uncoordinated coalition of people with their own special interests. There is a real progressive movement now. They’ve learned something from the debate. And health care itself, a lot of the sense of crisis over health care in ’92 was because the economy was in recession, and things got better on the health care front and the economy recovered even as Clinton was trying to get plan through. This time around private health insurance has been declining even in the midst of economic recovery, so the crisis is that much deeper. And because of the progressive movement, the Democrats have more or less coalesced on a plan. LBJ passed Medicare in July of ’65 because he hit the ground running and knew what he wanted. Clinton didn’t give his first speech on health care until September ’93. This time around, we hope, if it’s a Democrat in the White House, that he or she will be much closer to the position that Johnson was in when he passed Medicare.