Uphill Battle For Obama Sparks Comparisons To Clinton’s Failed Reform Bid
"Will failing to reform health care have the same consequences for Obama's administration as it did for Clinton's?" CNN asks.
CNN notes the similarities. "In 1994, universal health care was a key policy plan for then-President Bill Clinton. It eventually failed. Now, 15 years later, another Democratic president is taking on the challenge, but facing an uphill battle from not only from Republicans, but from members of his own party."
During the Clinton effort, "Republicans decried the plan as overcomplicated and used it to tag the administration as big government-loving, tax-and-spend liberals. The plan's failure emboldened Republicans and led to huge Democratic losses in the 1994 midterm elections, allowing the GOP to take control of Congress and stymie other Clinton initiatives. Now, 15 years later, Obama potentially faces a similar fate."
Bipartisan efforts, however, could aid Obama, CNN reports, but as bipartisan talks stall or fail, battle lines are drawn.
"But the battle over health care reform is weighed down by complex problems, competing interests, a $1 trillion price tag, conservative Democrats in sticker shock and Republicans sensing an opportunity to regain some of the power they lost in the 2006 congressional elections. Conservative Bill Kristol wrote in his blog that there is an opportunity to inflict political damage to the president and that opponents shouldn't compromise: 'My advice, for what it's worth: Resist the temptation,' Kristol wrote. 'This is no time to pull punches. Go for the kill.'"
"Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who Obama had tapped to be Health and Human Services director and the point person on health care reform before tax problems derailed his nomination, said getting health care reform passed now will be a major factor in defining Obama's presidency. 'Because he's made it such an issue, and because he has invested so much personal time and effort, this will, more than stimulus and more than anything he has done so far, be a measure of his clout and of his success early on,' Daschle was quoted in the New York Times. 'And because it is early on, it will define his subsequent years'" (Hornick, 7/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.