Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Obama’s Health Plan Sparks Unease Among Nation’s Middle Class"

That's the headline atop Heidi Przybyla's smart piece on Bloomberg this morning.

She quotes a Clinton White House staffer remembering back 15 years:

“The middle class jumped off the bandwagon, and that’s why Clinton’s plan failed,” said Bennett, 44, a vice president at Third Way, a Washington research group that supports Obama’s plan. Obama “needs to ensure that the middle class remains convinced that they will be the beneficiaries of the reform.”

Indeed, Bennett is right: If you want the middle class to support Obamacare, the middle class has to benefit. But note the disconnect between what Bennett says, above, and what Obamacare press secretary Linda Douglass says below:

White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass said Obama’s “central message” is lowering costs for average Americans.

“He’s fully aware and knowledgeable about what happened in 1994,” she said.

Obama, who is pressing Congress to get a bill to his desk by October, emphasized at a July 1 town-hall meeting in Virginia how his plan will rein in costs. “If we want to control our deficits, the only way for us to do it is to control health-care costs,” he said.

The middle class wants better care, as distinct from DC's vision of lower costs. And so Heidi's headline got it right: "Obama’s Health Plan Sparks Unease Among Nation’s Middle Class"

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