Health Reform Weighs Down the Democrats

More

My column for the FT today looks at the prospects for Obamacare, and the role it is playing in the election.

Comprehensive health reform was popular with the electorate before the elections of 2008. Mr Obama won the presidency on a pledge to introduce it. Elements of the reform, tested one at a time, still poll well. The Republicans offer no plausible alternative. In many ways the Democratic reform is a long overdue advance, ending the scandal that the US, alone among advanced nations, fails to provide healthcare to all its citizens.

Yet the uncertain fate of this righteous venture is in large part the Democrats' own fault. Before passing the reform, they failed to explain it or defend it to the public, thinking this would take care of itself. That was a gamble, which they lost. Then, better late than never, as it became plain that the reform was failing to win the public's confidence, they should have campaigned for it - as the president repeatedly promised he would. Instead, they ran away.

Some of their losses next week will be due to these choices. Worse, Mr Obama's historic reform might yet be in jeopardy. 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgment, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In