Obama Celebrates Health Overhaul Win
President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign health overhaul legislation into law Tuesday morning, marking an accomplishment that has left the White House euphoric after the president staked his political fortunes on the measure, Reuters reports. "[W]ith a major accomplishment in hand, Obama will now be able to counter critics who have suggested he had little to show for his 14 months in office." However, if public opinion about the overhaul remains skeptical, Democrats could suffer in the next election cycle (Bohan and Zengerle, 3/23).
Financial Times: Still, the "vote gives him a victory that defied several of his predecessors and marks one of the more momentous pieces of legislation in decades." The congressional victory "has re-energised his presidency and his Democratic party and fired up Republican opponents" (Braithwaite and Dombey, 3/23).
The New York Times examines the "lessons" for the Democrats and the president. "Mr. Obama has laid out an ambitious domestic agenda. He wants to overhaul the financial regulatory system, and Democrats began to push a bill through the Senate on Monday. He also wants to rewrite his predecessor's signature education bill, pass climate change legislation and revamp immigration laws. Sunday's victory has clearly emboldened Democrats and raised expectations for Mr. Obama" (Stolberg, 3/22).
New York Daily News: "President Obama starts a victory lap on health care Tuesday, signing it into law at a White House lawn party -- and hitting the road to sell it to the American people. That may be the tough part." Meanwhile, "A national CNN poll last night found Americans opposed the bill 59% to 39%. A majority fear it will cost them money while giving government too much power" (Sisk, 3/23).
The Associated Press: "Voters who complained they were sick of the status quo must now decide whether this is - to borrow Obama's campaign motto - the change they believe in. That choice will be the basis on which the nation will judge Obama, from his first midterm elections this fall to his likely re-election campaign in 2012. From now until then, the president will try to convince a skeptical public that he's done the right thing" (Sidoti, 3/23).
After Sen. Scott Brown's election victory Jan. 19 - which ended Democrats' filibuster-proof majority in the Senate - many in Washington believed their goal of achieving the health overhaul was no longer possible. The Washington Post recaps Obama's effort to resurrect the plan (Connolly, 3/23).