The editors of the National Review write a helpful essay, dissecting President Obama’s Wednesday night press conference (which seems to have mercifully misfired):
But in the end, the president does not in fact seem capable of persuading the public that he and congressional Democrats have found the magic cure-all for our health-care ills. Increasingly, the American people aren’t buying what Obama is selling. Support for his approach to health care has begun to fall below 50 percent in recent polls, as worries about cost, harming the quality and availability of health care, displacing millions who are satisfied with their insurance, increasing the tax burden on employers in the midst of a recession, and creating an enormous new entitlement are adding up.
But also discussing what comes next, and offering suggestions. Their conclusion:
The next few weeks are clearly crucial to the fate of these misbegotten plans. Obamacare is in trouble, but it is by no means down for the count. The Democrats control both houses of Congress quite comfortably and are keen to avoid embarrassing their new president or appearing feckless and divided. They are trying to rush a bill through in the hope that no one pays too much attention to the details and that they can claim victory before the smoke has cleared.
But the politics of health care has clearly changed for the better in the past month. Passage of an Obama-style plan is now by no means inevitable, and the more time passes the greater the obstacles to passage appear. Republicans should make it clear that they do not intend to abet the approach the Democrats are contemplating, and that better options are available which would harness consumer choice to control costs and therefore to broaden access to health insurance.
President Obama and the Democrats have given Washington Republicans the perfect opportunity to illustrate for the public what it means to stand for fiscal responsibility, economic growth, individual liberty, and free markets, and how that combination can also point the way to creative and constructive policy solutions. The public is growing wary of the Democrats’ approach and eager to be shown a better way. Republicans should oblige: Stop Obamacare, and make the case for conservative health-care reform.