If there’s one person to thank for the health-reform measure that passed the House yesterday, it’s John Edwards … really. It was Edwards, Chris Good points out, who was on stump talking about health care in 2007, even when it wasn’t a huge issue for voters, and well before Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama—and Edwards had an actual plan well before either of his Democratic primary competitors.
“Partly because of Edwards, the 2008 Democratic primary was a story of fierce debate on health care—a debate that continued between Clinton and Obama after Edwards dropped out,” Good writes for the Atlantic. “He forced his opponents to talk more about health care, to engage him in his push.” And by the November 2008 election, it was the top priority among Obama voters. “Would Obama have taken up health care as his first major initiative after the stimulus—instead of, say, education reform, an issue the president clearly is fond of—if his supporters hadn't listed it as their No. 1 voting issue?” Good wonders.