Some pushback from yours truly against the notion that the president's attempt to address the cost and access of healthcare in America has been some kind of failure so far:
I suspect that what we’ll end up with will be the healthcare equivalent of the emerging climate change legislation. The structure for a saner policy will be laid down but none of the hard choices will be made now. Companies and unions will be too strong to give up their tax break; it will take years for the efficiencies of electronic records to take effect; the fee-for-service model will continue to push costs up; the public plan will be anemic; and in a short while Congress will have to return to the system and impose sacrifices. At some point, Americans will have to pay more, get less and adjust to a more collective system. Just not now.
As for Obama? He’ll get credit and also take some flak. He will be blamed for any reduction in healthcare provision and choice; but the public deep down know that the status quo is unsustainable for much longer. So they’ll see him as their community organizer for more pragmatic change, not the savior who will end all their problems.
And that's a good thing. The full column is here.
(Photo: the president last week by Jim Watson/Getty.)
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