What Brill's 'Bitter Pill' Gets Wrong on Obamacare

Steven Brill's new book about Obamacare misses the point on the health-care cost curve.

President Barack Obama signs the bill that launched a thousand op-ed articles.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Steven Brill's new book about the process of passing the Affordable Care Act is so meticulously reported, I found myself surprised by many details of a process I myself was deeply involved in. I learned from “America's Bitter Pill,” for example, that in October 2009 one of my White House colleagues apparently wrote a memo arguing that I had misled President Barack Obama in highlighting the potential for the legislation to slow the growth of U.S. health-care costs. Brill approvingly quotes a staff member saying that the point of the memo was that “Peter overstated to the president how great the bill was on costs.”

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