you know the Democratic Party has a problem.
You think Obama overinterpreted his mandate with health care?
The problem with health care is this: Health care is enormously important to people. When you tell them that you’re going to extend health care to people who don’t now have it, they don’t see how you can do that without hurting them. So I think he underestimated, as did Clinton, the sensitivity of people to what they see as an effort to make them share the health care with poor people.
I think we paid a terrible price for health care. I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after Scott Brown won, I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform but certainly not health care.
And if you’d done it with that sequencing, you could have still gotten health care before 2012?
I’m not sure, but I think you could have gotten some pieces of it. And yeah, if we’d held the House, we could have gotten it.
Barney has it pretty much correct here. There could have been health care reform if Obama started with points of agreement, accepted small gains, and worked with Republicans.
Instead, Obama flush with victory in 2008 and nursing a massive ego and misplaced sense of history, took an “I won” attitude just like on the Stimulus Plan. Except that on Obamacare, he couldn’t even pick up the Republican stragglers he picked up on Stimulus (Arelen Specter defected shortly after Stimulus).
It was a trap of Obama’s and the Democrat’s own making. I noted just over two weeks before Obamacare passed in March 2010:
The health care fight has drained the Obama administration and agenda, and the entire Democratic Party. Right now, the Democrats are pushing forward only because they are in too deep. Having continued the battle despite the lack of popular support, Democrats have left themselves no way out.
There is no path to victory for Democrats in this battle. To fail to pass “something” will be a mortal blow to Obama’s prestige; to pass “something” will be a mortal blow to Democrats in Congress in the November elections.
For Democrats, health care defeat has become defeat, and health care victory has become defeat.
If only the Democrats had listened to the voters of Massachusetts in January 2010. And to Barney Frank.
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