The president’s constant refrain and stream of accusations — Republicans are scaring old people (well, someone is!), Medicare isn’t going to be used to pay for this (well, except for hundreds of billions in cuts), and Republicans better start coming up with ideas (an e-mail today indicated there are no fewer than 35 bills from GOP lawmakers) — suggests that the president is setting this up as a knock-down, drag-out, go-to-reconciliation (50 votes only in the Senate) sort of fight.
This is not an olive-branch speech. And throwing in tort reform doesn’t make it so. That would be “nice” for many conservatives, but at the price of a government takeover of the health-care sector? My bad — we aren’t supposed to say we’re looking at a government takeover.