Health Reform Weighs Down the Democrats

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. 
Presented by

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In