February 23, 2021

Jonathan Cohn

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes JONATHAN COHN—leading expert on health policy and a senior correspondent at HuffPost—for a discussion of his latest book, The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage. He will be joined in conversation by E.J. DIONNE, JR., Washington Post columnist and professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.


The Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” was the most sweeping and consequential piece of legislation of the last half century. It has touched nearly every American in one way or another, for better or worse, and become the defining political fight of our time.

In The Ten Year War, veteran journalist Jonathan Cohn offers the compelling, authoritative history of how the law came to be, why it looks like it does, and what it’s meant for average Americans. Drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews, plus private diaries, emails and memos, The Ten Year War takes readers to Capitol Hill and to town hall meetings, inside the West Wing and, eventually, into Trump Tower, as the nation's most powerful leaders try to reconcile pragmatism and idealism, self-interest and the public good, and ultimately two very different visions for what the country should look like.

At the heart of the book is the decades-old argument over what’s wrong with American health care and how to fix it. But the battle over healthcare was always about more than policy. The Ten Year War offers a deeper examination of how our governing institutions, the media, and the two parties have evolved, and the dysfunction those changes have left in their wake.

About Author(s)

Jonathan Cohn is a senior national correspondent at HuffPost, where he covers politics and policy. A former senior editor at the New Republic, he has written for the New York TimesAtlantic, and Self, among others. He has won several awards and was called “one of the nation's leading experts on health policy” by the Washington Post. A graduate of Harvard, Jonathan grew up in Florida and lived for years in the Boston area before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he lives with his family.

E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a columnist for the Washington Post, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, university professor at Georgetown University, and visiting professor at Harvard University. He is a co-author of the New York Times bestseller One Nation After Trump and author of Code Red and Why the Right Went Wrong.