Obama's wrong turn on health care

My column for the FT today argues that Obama is the author of his own problems on healthcare reform.

Mr Obama's health proposals are not in trouble because conservative Republicans oppose them. Conservative Republicans were always going to oppose them. They are in trouble because moderate Republicans oppose them, and even more because many moderate Democrats also have doubts.

Mr Obama has to persuade centrists - the voters who elected him president - to support health reform. It is as simple as that. If he brings moderates and independents on board, reform will succeed. If he fails, the effort will either be abandoned or, more likely, the plans will be watered down.

The town hall protesters, with their "death panel" hysterics and posters depicting Mr Obama with a Hitler mustache, may help push centrists back to the Obama camp. If not, they should. So far, though, Mr Obama's lamentable salesmanship has pushed harder the other way. Hindered no doubt by the fact that there is still no finished plan to sell, he has failed to come up with a plausible line to put to the country.

Read the rest of it here.