President Obama’s August deadline for a health-care reform bill is “dead,” said Carrie Budoff Brown and Chris Frates in Politico. And judging from the “backsliding and bitter words on Capitol Hill,” Obama must be hoping that "prospects for health reform this year haven’t expired as well.” Giving Republican opponents and “special-interest groups” the August break to attack the nebulous plan will make already-contentious negotiations harder.
Given the Left’s “defeatism and paranoia” about this “timeout,” and the Right’s “glee,” said Nate Silver in FiveThirtyEight, you’d think we’d reached the end of the game. We haven’t. The August delay could be bad for Obama, or it could be good—if, say, the sustained “bad coverage” he’s been getting on health care gives way to a comeback narrative, or good economic news soothes voters’ deficit fears.
At this point, Obama will be lucky to get a watered-down health-care bill, said Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. People have started to feel the recession now, and we’re "not in a spending mood." Americans were always wary of letting Uncle Sam run their health care; now that we’re seeing the price tag, Obama’s "facing a real loss."
Here’s why Obama will get his legislation, said E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post. Despite Obama’s dipping poll numbers, the complexity of the legislation, the “crisis” of the delay, and the bad economy, “failure is not an option for Democrats who care about staying in power (which happens to be all of them).” Democrats control the government—once they work out the details, they’ll get it done.
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