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Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Health Reform: On Life Support

Talkingpointsmemo.com links to the New York Times report on the health reform effort and how things are not looking too good right now.     

What’s the latest assessment from those closely monitoring health care reform? Prognosis negative.

“Health reform is, I think it fair to say, in danger right now,” wrote Ezra Klein this morning at the Washington Post.

“Attention fellow liberals who want health care reform,” wrote Jonathan Cohn yesterday at the New Republic. “You are in danger of losing the fight for universal health insurance. And it’s not only — or even primarily — because of the public plan.”

“Anyone else think the net result of health reform is going to be that insurance companies have even more political power?,” twittered Atrios this afternoon.

What’s got the pro-reform contingent worried?

“It’s because of the money,” writes Cohn.

However, the article does provide some glimmer of hope    - 

In another post at the Democratic Strategist, former Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg concurs:

At the moment, the country is tilting toward enacting Obama’s reforms, and it will do so more enthusiastically if Obama learns from the Clinton experience and rises to the educative role that he relishes. He must respect the thoughts, feelings and calculations of ordinary citizens who are not easily spun on important issues. People will take out their calculators when he lays out his plan, and he can’t avoid speaking candidly about its costs and consequences. And he can’t forget that he has a big story to tell about a changed America, one in which health care is but a pile of bricks in the new foundation he is laying.

Obama has scheduled a nationally televised town hall on health care next Wednesday, June 24. And as Nate Silver at Fivethirtyeight notes, the public is still with him on reform. But it is going to take a bigger effort, says Silver, than just one meeting:

So far, there is no sign of erosion in the public’s support for health care reform. And the Administration appears poised to begin doing some more explicit advocacy for the legislation, beginning with a one-hour national forum on June 24th. But it had better be prepared for that town hall meeting to be a start of a trend, because history suggests that leaving a health care bill unattended before Congress is just about the worst place for it to be. . . .

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