Reform Debate Looks Stuck Until Sept.
By Ben Pershing
As an unusually eventful August inches toward its end, a health-care debate that has changed markedly this month now appears roughly frozen in place until Congress returns from recess.
Key players in the health-care debate spent Thursday repeating what they had said before. In the Senate, the Gang of Six held a 90-minute conference call and essentially agreed to keep talking (though perhaps about a narrower bill). In the House, Nancy Pelosi made clear yet again that the chamber's initial bill would include a public plan. And President Obama reiterated that a) the public option is not an essential part of his reform plan; and b) his position on the issue hasn't changed. Obama also said Thursday, "I guarantee we are going to get health-care reform done." That's a bold statement to make, but if the reform effort fails, Obama will have larger problems to worry about than the inaccuracy of his predictions.
The new Washington Post-ABC News poll paints the latest sobering picture of Obama's political fortunes. "Public confidence in President Obama's leadership has declined sharply over the summer,' the Post writes, while ABC observes, "Health care reform overall, a political sand trap when last attempted in 1993, looks much the same in 2009." Skepticism on health care seems to be canceling out any benefit Obama could accrue from the improving economy. On the directoion of the country, 55 percent "see things as pretty seriously on the wrong track, up from 48 percent in April," the Post writes. "But there has been a notable increase in optimism about the length of the recession." And Charlie Cook judges that "this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and Congressional Democrats," and that his statistical projection that House Democrats will lose six-to-12 seats next November "is far too low." (Obama meets today with Tom Daschle to talk reform. How might this debate be different if his nomination had survived? Discuss.)
Continue reading at Political Browser »
Posted at 8:38 AM ET on Aug 21, 2009
Share This: Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: POTUS Events: Obama Meets with Daschle | Next: Obama Wishes 'Ramadan Kareem' to Muslims
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: GLGPHD | August 21, 2009 10:39 PM
Posted by: AntonioSosa | August 21, 2009 3:55 PM
Posted by: newbeeboy | August 21, 2009 3:20 PM
Posted by: Gator-ron | August 21, 2009 12:18 PM
Posted by: publishersplace | August 21, 2009 12:11 PM
Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2009 12:02 PM
Posted by: RealTexan1 | August 21, 2009 10:07 AM
Posted by: scrivener50 | August 21, 2009 9:19 AM