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Taking ownership of healthcare reform

Ezra Klein is giddy about the President’s plan for healthcare reform, released earlier today.  There’s not much in the way of policy changes from the Senate bill, but he sees a big upside for Democrats politically: 

[I]f the changes to the underlying policies are modest, the impact on the politics will be tremendous. It might even be, as Olympic announcer Ed Olcyzk said about the Canada/U.S. hockey game, “tremendously tremendous.” The release of this plan marks the end of the Scott Brown election and the resumption of the health-care process.

[…]

The Democrats have been roundly criticized for mishandling the politics of health-care reform, and those criticisms have often been justified. But there’s a larger truth, too: The only way to win this issue is to pass the bill. Their biggest mistake has been letting the legislation take so long. But that doesn’t mean they’ve failed. They fail if the bill fails, and they succeed if the bill passes.

I don’t agree with Klein’s assessment at all, but is it fair to assume now that the Obama Democrats have taken full ownership of healthcare reform?

Up until now, the President has let the Democratic leaders in Congress do all of the dirty work and take most of the blame throughout the ten months or so of the healthcare debate.  With this proposal, the President jumps into the pool as well.   And Harry Reid has all but signaled that he is willing to pass legislation by reconciliation.  Clearly, the Democrats are doubling down on a bad situation for them politically.  

Lastly, I’d be interested to see the reaction of the extreme progressives in the blogosphere, given that the public option appears all but gone from the President’s proposal.

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