Healthcare: learning to backpedal
The training wheels are off for the Obama administration, which has passed the six-month mark in office. But officials are just now learning the Washington sport of backpedaling.
It started over the weekend when President Barack Obama and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared to soften the stance that a public insurance option would be required in any healthcare reform plan.
That led to an outcry from liberal Democrats, most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the public option was the best option.
Now the White House says it never changed its tune. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says reports of the administration backing away from the public option were an “overreaction” to Sebelius comments and that the administration’s message has been “boringly consistent.”
How fast can one backpedal on the backpedal?
The healthcare debate is far from over, and there won’t be a signal of where it is headed until some time after Congress returns from summer break, if then.
But the Obama administration is going to have to decide who it is willing to anger: liberals friendly to their cause or Republicans who will require moving mountains to vote for healthcare overhaul.
Politico’s Roger Simon poses the question that Hillary Clinton raised on the campaign trail when she was running for president: Does Obama have the guts?
What do you think?
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