Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Health care reform: a priority for Obama?

Earlier in the month, I noted that "In domestic politics . . . Obama's inclination to play the "unity card" has tended to undermine the position of many of his supporters at the bargaining table to the advantage of his Republican opponents." Well, he's at it again. Krugman blogs:

My big fear about Obama has always been not that he doesn’t understand the issues, but that his urge to compromise — his vision of himself as a politician who transcends the old partisan divisions — will lead him to negotiate with himself, and give away far too much. He did that on the stimulus bill, where he offered an inadequate plan in order to win bipartisan support, then got nothing in return — and was forced to reduce the plan further so that Susan Collins could claim her pound of flesh.

And now he’s done it on a key component of health care reform. What was the point of signaling, right at this crucial moment, that he’s willing to give away the public plan? Let alone doing it at the very moment that he was making such a good case for it?

There are two possibilities. Obama is 1) just a really lousy negotiator, or 2) not at all serious about achieving meaningful health care reform.

Given that it was Edwards who put health back on the Democrats' agenda, I am not convinced Obama is committed.

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SPECIAL COVERAGE I live-blogged the spontaneous Obama victory celebration in Washington DC. Experience what it felt like to be among thousands of deliriously happy people gathered outside the White House. Click here.

Previously, I had been blogging about the Obama, McCain and the US election. I wrote about Sarah Palin on this blog even before McCain chose her to be his running mate. The choice was disappointing, and a possibility I had anticipated.

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