President Barack Obama: I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules.
The White House showed a white flag last weekend, discarding its commitment to a “public option” that would compete with private health insurance. Since then, despite efforts to backtrack, the signal keeps flashing: Obama won’t go to the mat for a public option after all.
The President’s centeredness, calm, and dignity inspire trust but also suggest a certain lack of combativeness, a reluctance to express indignation, and an unwillingness to identify enemies — resulting in a tendency toward compromise even at the early stages of controversy.
Without a public, Medicare-like option, health care reform is a bandaid for a system in critical condition. There’s no way to push private insurers to become more efficient and provide better value to Americans without being forced to compete with a public option.
Even as Obama takes his case for comprehensive health care reform to the country, only a cockeyed optimist could believe Congress will soon produce anything remotely resembling the universal healthcare.
It’s allegedly better to be lucky than good. Barack Obama has great political skills, but it took luck to give him the chance to replace a tarnished Tom Daschle with a far more credible Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services Secretary. The Kansas Governor is slated to be appointed to the job, and will […]