A couple weeks ago, you know about the time the citizens of Massachusetts elected a Republican to fill a Senate seat Democrats had held since the twilight of the Truman Administration, I thought I had read somewhere that President Obama planned to pivot away from health care and focus on jobs and the economy. And while he may have given a speech hither, thither and yon on the economy, his focus at least since last June has been on overhauling the nation’s health care system.
Of course, he’s taken the occasional break to focus on other (more) pressing issues, like the war in Afghanistan, but he really seems bound and determined not just to effect some reform in health care, but to enact some major changes to the system. While it might be smart politcally, as David Freddoso put it in the Washington Examiner yesterday, for Obama to retreat from his ambitious overhaul and seek instead “a cosmetic victory, after which he should privately acknowledge defeat and run like hell from this issue as quickly as possible,” the Democrat “has already shut himself off from this path by committing to the position that incremental health reforms would be ineffectual.”
As another pundit put it, he “has put all of his eggs in the healthcare basket.”
Remember, the president, like all of us, only has a limited number of hours in the day, so he can’t devote his attention to every issue. But, in recent days, it seems it’s been all health care all the time. He held all all-day health care “summit” with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders. It not only took time to convene and conduct the summit, but it also took time to prepare for it. Meanwhile he’s been having meetings in the White House, trying to strong arm wavering Democrats to support his overhaul.
Soon, he’ll be traveling to Philadelphia and St. Louis to stump for reform.
What does it say about about the Administration of a president who devotes most of his time to one issue when the American people find other issues far more pressing? When he’s fighting to expand the size and scope of the state at a time when people favor a smaller, less energetic government and seek to put a lid on its growth and costs while expressing about ever-increasing deficits?
And remember this when running for president, this is the guy who promised us a “net spending cut,” saying that he’d been promoting such spending reductions “throughout this campaign.”