By Ben Cohen
Paul Krugman sets the scene for the inevitable bust up between Obama and the health care industry after it reneged on its promise to lower costs for the public:
The medical-industrial complex has called
the president’s bluff. It polished its image by showing up at the big
table and promising cooperation, then promptly went back to doing all
it can to block real change. The insurers and the drug companies are,
in effect, betting that Mr. Obama will be afraid to call them out on
It’s up to Mr. Obama to prove them wrong.
Obama is showing a mixed record when it comes to fulfilling his campaign promises - he's shown some mettle on various issues (the stimulus, auto emissions and Israel) but has been far too cautious when it comes to others (closing Guantanamo and regulating the financial sector). The health care issue should provide a very good example of his willingness to stand up for what he believes in, and given the enormous goodwill he has, it shouldn't be too much to ask. The health insurance industry is a symbol of how corrupt private power has become in America, and if Obama wants an issue to define his Presidency, it provides a very good example.