Canada did not establish its national health care program with a bold, immediate political move by the federal government."Why Obama Likes His Odds" (E.J. Dionne Jr.):
The initial progress came at the provincial level, led by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation's Tommy Douglas when he served from 1941 to 1960 premier of Saskatchewan. The universal, publicly-funded "single-payer" health care system that Douglas and his socialist allies developed in Saskatchewan proved to be so successful and so popular that it was eventually adopted by other provinces and, ultimately, by Canada's federal government.
Allowing states to do what is necessary to provide high-quality yet affordable health care for all -- even as a federal plan falls short of that goal -- opens up vital new avenues for promoting, and actually implementing, single-payer systems.
It was not the soaring rhetoric that is Barack Obama's signature, but he recently offered the sound bite that may define his presidency: "Don't bet against us.""President Is Set to 'Take the Baton'" (WaPo):
There are reasons to believe that his confident words -- they were about health-care reform but have broader application -- were not the bombast of a bluffer exaggerating the strength of his hand. They reflect the high cards that Obama holds and has only now started to play.
And that, finally, is why Obama wants to make sure his party bets with him, not against him. His core message to fellow Democrats is that the only things they have to fear are the fears and insecurities bred into them when they were a battered minority. Obama is free of those doubts because he never knew them.
Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama may have no greater test of his ability to translate personal popularity into a successful legislative agenda than the upcoming two weeks.Barack Obama
With skepticism about the president's health-care reform effort mounting on Capitol Hill -- even within his own party -- the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to dramatically increase public pressure on Congress: all Obama, all the time.
For health-care reform to succeed, Obama will have to carefully navigate between paying the appropriate respect to those men while exerting the leadership that many are demanding.
"It's getting hotter, and there are bumps, but we are closer to health-care reform than ever before," Emanuel said.