Commentary Magazine


Will a Disastrous August Turn into a Disastrous Fall?

The Washington Post‘s editors declare ObamaCare dead and go looking for an alternative:

The Obama administration and other advocates of comprehensive health reform knew that August was going to be a perilous month. It’s turned out to be disastrous. As lawmakers return to work and President Obama ends his vacation, the health reform enterprise is in rough shape. So what is the proper course of treatment?

Spend a few hundred billion less they suggest. (But to do what?) Cut costs — by taxing employer benefits and empowering Medicare panels to really slash payments. (Wait — isn’t this what many are already objecting to?) And get behind the Senate Finance Plan. (No, you didn’t miss it — there isn’t one.)

Well, the diagnosis here (ObamaCare is kaput) is sounder than the cure. But the Post editors are right about one thing: Obama has to dump Plan A and start again. August proved his undoing, and unless he wants September, October, and all the months to follow to continue the downward trajectory of his presidency, he would do well to tell Americans he has heard them loud and clear. The longer he pursues his moribund plan, the worse it will get and the longer it will take to revive his standing with the voters.