Monday, Sept 7th, 2009
President Obama is ready to retreat from a central part of his domestic agenda in order to achieve some sort of healthcare reform this year, two of his senior aides indicated yesterday.
In a concession to Republican critics and political reality, he will continue to argue for a government-run health insurance programme as a “valuable tool” but, according to his senior White House spokesman, he is unlikely to insist on the so-called public option as a condition of signing a Bill.
Hints that he will drop his campaign pledge to throw the US Government’s full weight into the delivery of health-related services will dismay the liberal wing of his party.
However, after a summer of sliding poll ratings and sustained Republican attacks on his reform agenda, Mr Obama might otherwise be forced to abandon healthcare reform altogether, as President Clinton was forced to do in 1994.