President Obama left his signature domestic policy in the hands of Congress, and now he is facing the consequences. From the outset of his presidency, Obama invited Congress to devise the details of health care reform legislation — an apparent bid to avoid what happened when President Clinton tried to overhaul health care 17 years ago.
Leaving it to Congress put an unusually glaring spotlight on how Capitol Hill does business. The spectacle of Congress’ horse-trading, secrecy and gridlock has fueled today’s virulent anti-Washington mood. The public’s reaction was all the greater because Obama had campaigned on a promise to change the way Washington did business, and because health care reform engendered such personal high hopes and anxiety. Continue reading