President Obama is fond of creating a false paradigm about health care reform: It is either the current plans or “nothing.”
That isn’t true, of course. Obama and the Democratic leadership made the same mistake that Hillary Clinton did back in 1993: He has allowed the Democrats to try and remake the entire system rather than pass targeted reforms. The results look to be as much a debacle.
Back when Hillarycare failed, that was it: The Clintons quit. But that need not happen again. Obama can down shift and try a more measured approach. Now “Blue Dog” Democratic Congressman Allen Boyd may help push things in that constructive direction by suggesting that the time may have come to dump this mess and start all over again. From the story:
“I cannot support this bill in the version it is in now,” he said. “We can do better. We can make it better.”
He emphasized to the skeptical crowds that he will work to reduce quickly-rising medical costs; that any bill must not add to the deficit; and that Blue Dogs like himself fought to delay consideration by the full House of Representatives to allow members to hear directly from constituents during the August recess. When a questioner, Ray Evans, said he believed the President wants to do too much at once and asked whether Boyd would “be willing to scrap everything” and start over to do pursue reform more incrementally, the congressman responded: “I think that is an excellent idea we may end up there.”
Now there’s some wisdom, for a change! The ironic thing is that if Obama led in that direction, he could take better control over the process, which, in turn, would help him regain his lost popularity because it would mark a return to the centrist, friendly reaching-across-the-cultural-divides approach that got him elected—but which he abandoned immediately upon taking office.