Thursday, August 13, 2009

The President Is Not That Strong

There are many liberals that want health care reform. One mantra has been that the President has the Democrats in the congress to get it done, so why not "ram it through" and forget the Republicans. But this idea ignores the facts of governing. We won't get what Barack Obama campaigned on because the presidency is simply not that powerful and electoral politics is that powerful. Ezra Klein explains:
"The executive simply has limited power here. If the store gets given away, it's probably not because Obama didn't want any of the stuff in it. If a strong bill survives the process, it's probably not because Obama was just so irresistibly persuasive.

But either way, even the best of the bills on the table would simply be a partial fix for our coverage problem, not a root-and-branch reform of our wildly inefficient, fiscally destructive health-care system. Obama made those compromises because, on the one hand, the public is afraid of change, and on the other hand, the Congress is stocked with folks who will scare them further and do their best to block needed reforms, and on the third hand -- government is many-handed beast -- industry has a lot of money and a lot of clout."
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