Obama may try to create crisis atmosphere to pass health care
This is something the president has proven himself very good at doing; ginning up fear over the consequences of not passing one of his agenda items.
You might recall that the stimulus bill was rammed through Congress after the president barnstormed the country telling everyone that unless it was passed immediately, unemployment might rise to 8%.
Well, it worked. And unemployment now stands at 9.7% but who's counting? The point being, he is going to have to try something similar as suggested by Julianna Goldman and Nicholas Johnston of Bloomberg:
Facing polls showing a drop in his approval, diminished support from independents, factions within his Democratic Party and a united Republican opposition, Obama must recapture the sense of urgency that led to passage of the economic rescue package in February, analysts said.
"At the moment, except for the people without insurance, we're not in a health-care crisis," said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington. "You do need a crisis to generate movement in Congress and to help build a consensus."
Never let a crisis go to waste, eh Rahmbo?
On the stimulus, Obama was able to say "that unless we do X right now, and X is pretty painful and pretty expensive, there is a serious danger in the next few weeks that the entire financial system will come crashing down," said Bill Galston, a former official in President Bill Clinton's administration, now a Brookings Institution scholar in Washington.
Emanuel remarked at the time that a crisis was a terrible thing to waste, and Obama pushed for health-care overhaul and energy legislation along with financial and auto bailouts.
He has framed health-care legislation as part of his long- term strategy to improve the economy. Republicans focused on the potential impact on patients. Throughout the summer and in town halls, Republican opponents said Obama wanted a government takeover of the system and creation of panels to decide end-of- life issues.
It will be interesting to see how Obama frames the issue to develop a sense of urgency for reforming something the overwhelming majority of Americans believe needs some tweaking but not catastrophic overhaul.
My guess will be that he simply makes stuff up to get what he wants. He's done it before; cap and trade was sold as something that must be done immediately or the planet was doomed. And it is likely that he will lie about the "crisis" in health care to try and get that passed as well.