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The Patient Is in Stable Condition and Improving Rapidly


The Atlantic Politics team asks the question on somebody's mind: "Can President Obama's media blitz – appearances on five Sunday talk shows this weekend – save health reform?"

Save health reform from what? Consider the recent developments: Two weeks ago, four of five committees had passed their bills, and one committee was tangled in an interminable and opaque process. Last week, that committee produced a bill that, though not perfect, is pretty close to the other bills on the table. On Friday, the committee chairman and the crucial Republican both announced that the subsidies need to be raised, which addresses the main problem liberals have with the legislation. Later this week, the Massachusetts Senate is expected to allow an interim replacement for Sen. Ted Kennedy, giving Democrats their 60th vote.

Obama's weekend blitz wasn't meant to save health-care reform. It was meant to push it those final 10 yards. He could fail in that effort, but that's where we sit: incredibly, incredibly close to the finish line. Closer, by far, than we have ever been before.

Photo credit: By Charles Dharapak – Associated Press

By Ezra Klein  |  September 21, 2009; 7:28 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: If the Election Were Held Today


Hooray! This is the only place where one can find realistic coverage of reform political chances. When it passes, the media's story will be 'what a surprise,' after they've been downplaying it all along.

Posted by: Stlbroker1 | September 21, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

But the question is, what will the details be. What kind of public option will be in the bill? Ezra, perhaps you could say something more about the trigger option.

Posted by: michiganmaine | September 21, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I wonder, if a good healthcare reform bill does pass, what type of impact will it have on Democrats?

After Republicans trashing and bashing the bills for so long, the media going for as much drama as possible and saying healthcare reform is teetering in the edge of a precipice, how will the media and public react once something passes?

Will they view Democrats more favorably, about the same, or somehow look at them even more unfavorably?

How will it look if not a single republican votes for healthcare reform?

Will Republicans try to spin things (successfully or not) to look as if they were the actual champions of reform?

Now that we're this far along, it will be really interesting to see where the chickens come to roost.

Posted by: JERiv | September 21, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Pollyanna Klein! Do not confuse real health care reform with the phony Congressional bill of the same name. Obama knows his plan has been gutted. He's trying to cram it through and hope the voters don't notice until after 2013. Don't bet on it.

Posted by: bmull | September 21, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This morning I watched bits of several morning shows. Guess what? The theme was "Can Obama save health care reform from defeat?" Even the WaPo's Kornblat(sp?) was all about the media blitz designed to save a bill. The MSM has the patient in serious condition and failing rapidly. Is the MSM just trying to create drama or is reform in trouble? Who knows? I doubt anyone can read where the posturing egos in the Senate might go.

Posted by: glewiss | September 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, this might be the last sane Lefty blog. It's really madness what going out there. Thanks for the nice dose of reality.

Posted by: impikk | September 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I predicted a few weeks ago that hte strategy now would be to pass whatever limited bill could still be passed and declare victory.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Shhhhh! If everybody thinks he saved it, he gains hit points.

Posted by: pj_camp | September 21, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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