Democrats on Health Care: Their Own Worst Enemy

Democratic incompetence has derailed health care reform. They might get a bill passed anyway

Jason Reed / Reuters

Steny Hoyer, left, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.

My favorite moment in Barack Obama's recent health care summit came when Senate majority leader Harry Reid surgically exposed the emptiness of a key Republican debating point, using the classic political tactic of jujitsu: he allowed the force of the opposition's argument to carry it into the abyss. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, an obstetrician, had delivered a passionate — and seemingly well-informed — statement about the need for medical-malpractice reform. "O.K., Senator, you win," Reid responded. "Look, we Democrats don't see malpractice the same way you do. Our traditional supporters among the trial lawyers hate it, of course. And the...

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