An EconTalk Podcast Listening Guide

David Brady on Health Care Reform, Public Opinion, and Party Politics

Listen to the EconTalk podcast David Brady on Health Care Reform, Public Opinion, and Party Politics and consider these questions.

1. Interviewer Roberts begins by noting that opinion polls continue to suggest Americans’ desire for change in the health care system, yet change seems to be seldom accomplished. What reasons does he suggest for this paradox?

2. How does Brady describe “contingent evaluation”? What does his recent study with Daniel Kessler suggest about Americans’ true desire for health care reform?

3. How does Brady describe the failure of Clinton’s proposal for health care reform in 1992? What does this suggest about the role of gridlock in legislating generally?

4. What does Brady mean by “induced preferences”? How, and to what extent, do induced preferences influence politicians’ behavior?

5. What is political “slack”, and how do politicians acquire it?

6. Why does Brady deem the desire for bipartisanship “romantic”? To what extent do you agree that “all the great issues in history” have been solved by partisanship?

7. How does Brady suggest that the general character of both the Republican and Democratic parties has changed post-Great Depression?

8. How does Brady respond to Roberts’ query as to whether the study of politics has become increasingly scientific? How does Brady suggest this compares to the study of economics?