Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Obama's Quagmire: Health Care

President Obama entered the White House with the promise of a transformational presidency — where hope would be kept alive and "change was on the way." In 2010, those promises were famously scoffed back at him by Sarah Palin: "How's that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?" The question is rhetorical, but the answer would probably be "not so great." When trying to tackle the country's broken health care system, Obama pleased no one. Republicans and Tea Partyers saw in any potential government intervention a socialist poltergeist possessing the U.S. and banged the gong against "Obamacare," even though reform would in the long term trim costs and expand coverage. The bill that got pushed through will eventually get 32 million people without insurance the health coverage they need, but the lack of a public option infuriated many among Obama's liberal base. Rather than a departure from Washington's politics as usual, it seemed to them a return to the usual spineless equivocating of previous Democratic administrations.