From Baucus To Obama

Ron Brownstein has a great post on the cost-control mechanisms buried in the Baucus plan. Andrew Sprung notes the importance of "a MedPac on steroids":

Compare Obama, speaking to Washington Post editor Fred Hiatt in July:

At this point, I am confident that both the House and the Senate bills will contain what we've been calling MedPAC on steroids, the idea that you continually present new ideas to change incentives, change the delivery system, understanding that because this is such a complex system we're not always going to get it exactly right the first time, and that there have to be a series of modifications over the course of a series of years, and we have to take that out of politics and make sure that an independent board of medical experts and health economists are providing packages that are continually improving the system. So I think there's general consensus that that is one of two very powerful levers to bend the cost curve.

Note the gradualism. That's not pusillanimity; it's recognition that our current payment system is a huge battleship that can only be turned by degrees.

That's true of everything Obama faces: deleveraging the debt he inherited and deleveraging the empire he inherited and defusing the polarization he inherited. This takes time. And patience along with vigilance.