Healthcare watch: Will summer debate yield fall harvest?
The healthcare debate that turned so temperamental during the summer when critics let loose during town hall meetings around the country is about to get a cool splash of reality.
The summer of running around, blowing off steam and releasing hot air is coming to a close. And soon it will be what every student dreads — a time for tests.
The White House has signaled that it is going to go to the drawing table and come up with specific areas where compromise can be had, and President Barack Obama will lay it all out in a major speech in the next week or two.
The speech will be a telltale about who Obama has decided to disappoint in order to try to reach broader agreement.
If it is truly the start of a negotiation, chances are no one’s going to be fully happy. But taking a not-so-wild guess, it’s Obama’s liberal base that will be the most upset, especially if it looks like he’s waffling on the government insurance option.
In the meantime the war drums keep beating. MoveOn.org and other liberal groups are holding vigils tonight, including a “virtual vigil” for those who can’t physically attend, to demonstrate the “urgent need” for healthcare reform.
Republicans are working to keep their people in line in opposition to healthcare overhaul and are unlikely to support Obama on his signature issue, even if he takes a step their way.
But on Capitol Hill, if a big deal is going to get done, it’s usually at the eleventh hour. Right now it’s still high noon.
THIS JUST IN: Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Obama at a healthcare forum in August)