We are going to be hearing an awful lot about health care reform in the coming four years.
My wife likes to remind me that when I moved to the U.S. from Canada in 1991, I was very much in favor of universal health care, was perfectly content with what was available in Canada and thought it draconian that Americans didn't have access to it.
Health care reform was one of the lynch pins of Obama's winning campaign. He issued a statement yesterday demanding that American voters get involved in the reform process from day one.
"Obama is encouraging average Americans to host informal gatherings to brainstorm about how to improve the U.S. system.
"In order for us to reform our health care system, we must first begin reforming how government communicates with the American people," Obama said in a statement yesterday. "These Health Care Community Discussions are a great way for the American people to have a direct say in our health reform efforts."
Former senator Thomas A. Daschle, Obama's point person on health, will attend at least one and prepare a detailed report"
What a brilliant play. I don't think America has the appetite to pay for universal health care right now. What is more, the economy, an orderly retreat from Iraq and what is going on in the rest of the Middle East will be more than enough to fill up Obama's first term. By shifting the part of the responsibility for planning health care reform to voters before he even takes office, Obama hugely increases his chances of getting a free pass if he gets nothing done on health care.
The line about Daschle attending at least one meeting is priceless.