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This Election Is All About Health Care

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 55 percent of registered voters say the outcome of this election will make “a great deal of difference” in their lives. That’s a 10 percentage point increase over the 2004 election, and more than double the percentage of voters who felt that way about the elections of 1996 or 1992. The stakes this year are higher -- and most voters know it.

That’s not always the case. In fact, any given presidential election is usually less consequential than the competing campaigns suggest. Candidates have every incentive to promise you the sun, moon and stars, and so they do. But no sooner does the winner adjust his chair in the Oval Office than the White House budget director tells him they can only afford the moon and a few stars. Then the moon gets taken out by a filibuster, and the rule-writing process makes it so hard to get a star that pretty much no one ever does. And that’s a good-case scenario. The Moon, Stars and Sun Act may never even make it out of the House Ways and Means Committee.