• Quote: “The Presidential Health Care Curse: Why Do They Bother?”

    Health reform is a presidential nightmare. No sane presidential consigliere would ever recommend his or her boss try it. Our health care system is so complicated and convoluted that any conceivable proposal is bound to make someone worse off. And in health care, worse off can mean real pain and suffering that creates powerful, emotional stories that echo through the news cycle. There is simply no way for presidential health care reformers to avoid grievous political harm, as the experience of President Barack Obama is now demonstrating in spades.

    Which raises the question: why bother? It would have been so easy for President Obama, in the midst of the Great Recession of 2008, to kick the health care can down the road, saying that his all-consuming priority was economic revival, and that health reform could wait.

    David Blumenthal, The Commonwealth Fund

    Adrianna (@onceuponA)

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    • Haven’t you read what President Obama has had to say about his mother’s ovarian cancer? He has also spoken about her interaction with health insurance companies. That is his motivation.

    • This is exactly why President Obama should be commended for his efforts. At a critical point when passage of the ACA seemed doubtful, the President reportedly said to VP Biden, “If we don’t do this now, healthcare in America will wait for another generation.” History will judge Obama very positively for taking on this issue.

      • Agreed.

        What seems to separate Presidents from most other politico’s is the importance with which they consider their legacy while in office.

        I get to hear Jimmy Carter speak quite often and I have to tell you, every speech he gives (and book he writes) involves some cultivation of his legacy.

    • Control

      We sometimes talk about power and money as motivations, but both lead to the same thing, control.

      Some like government controlling their lives and some don’t. The elite can take either side because, though too frequently they take the side of control, they believe they will be the ones in control.

    • The bigger it is the more danger in Government trying to reform it and it is now 18% of GDP!