Michael Petit and Max Richtman: A tale of two Janesvilles?

In 1900 the U.S. infant mortality rate was 165 deaths per 1,000 live births. Today it is six. In 1960 the elderly had the highest poverty rate and had no access to affordable health care. Today their poverty rate is the lowest and persons 65 and older are covered by Medicare.

How are these tremendous advancements in human health and dignity related? They are the direct result of the American people telling their elected federal officials — presidents and Congresses both — to stop the preventable deaths of babies, and to stop the avoidable last years of poverty and medical despair for those who had contributed so much over a lifetime. And it worked, the direct result of voter and taxpayer support for smart investments in the common welfare.

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