On May 5, the day before Barack Obama all but clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, I visited Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., because I was sick—sick of stories about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his most famous parishioner and of television close-ups of Obama drinking beer and Hillary Clinton belting straight shots in efforts to show their inner blue collars.
In what would amount to the country’s first universal coverage plan, the Massachusetts Legislature approved a bill that will require all its residents to buy health insurace or face legal penalties. How did they finally eke out a winning strategy for such a long-sought goal? The program is modeled on the state’s policy on auto insurance.