Sen. Harris Wofford Visits LDI in 1992
In February 1992, a capacity crowd of more than 500 heard Senator Harris Wofford, the first LDI Health Policy Center Congressional Fellow, talk about the need for National Health Insurance. “Pennsylvania claims that America started here,” he said. “Let’s have Pennsylvania be the beginning for national health care.”
Sen. Wofford, appointed to his seat upon the death of Sen. John Heinz in a plane crash, had just won a surprise victory over Richard Thornburgh in a special election. Alan Hillman, director of LDI’s Center for Health Policy at the time, said of Wofford, “He galvanized the country to address the health care problem nearly singlehandledly.” LDI’s ties to Sen. Wofford ran deep; Mary Naylor, as his Legislative Health Policy Fellow from 1992-1993, advised him on his “managed competition” proposal to provide affordable health care to all Americans. Although the moment seemed right, it would be nearly 20 years until federal health reform would pass in the form of the Affordable Care Act.