Following the ongoing health care and insurance debate, which has once again moved toward center stage in American politics, one might understandably get the impression that the most important names in the area are politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, John McCain, or Mitt Romney. Similarly, public intellectuals and pundits such as David Broder, David Brooks, Paul Krugman (or at least the New York Times and Wall Street Journal editorial pages) come to mind. Alternatively, health care scholars such as the instant Symposium participants or other health policy scholars such as Uwe Reinhardt, Troyen Brennan or Theodore Marmor, although not quite household words in most of the United States, are well known to even the casual traveler in the region and might be advanced as important figures in the debate. But these people, however accomplished, important or wise they may be, arguably have less to do with the ongoing health insurance status quo in American than two dead men. The arguably most important people, at least iconographically, for American Health Care are John Wayne and Adam Smith. More precisely, the characteristics they have come to embody and personify in the historical and public mind drive much of the reflexive thinking about American health care and medical insurance-largely in unfruitful directions. A third long-deceased icon personifies a different vision, but one that has never taken center stage in the medical insurance debate.
14 Conn. Ins. L.J. 229 (2007-2008).
Stempel, Jeffrey W., "Adam, Martin and John: Iconography, Infrastructure, and America's Pathological Inconsistency About Medical Insurance" (2008). Scholarly Works. 231.