Robert Pear, Victim of Excessive Obama Enthusiasm Syndrome
Last month, it was Kevin Sack being over-optimistic about the chances of Obama passing his high-cost health legislation, marveling that "...few in the Obama administration would have predicted late last year that they would be this well positioned by June to achieve a major victory on health care." Well, that didn't quite pan out.
Has health reporter Robert Pear caught the same bug?
Efforts to pass sweeping health care legislation took a big step forward on Wednesday as House Democratic leaders reached an agreement with fiscally conservative party members that would cut the bill's cost and exempt many small businesses from having to provide health benefits to workers.
The agreement, brokered by aides to President Obama, overcame a 10-day impasse and would allow a pivotal House committee to resume work on the bill, with an expectation that the panel could approve it later this week.
Under the deal, the Democratic leaders promised to defer a vote by the full House until September, so lawmakers could test public sentiment on the measure, which could fundamentally restructure one-sixth of the nation's economy.
House Democrats reached a deal with conservatives in their caucus that would reduce the overall cost of the package and ensure more funding for rural hospitals, concessions that could allow the Energy and Commerce Committee to finish its consideration of the legislation.
Bipartisan negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee, meanwhile, announced that a draft of their reform package would come with a lower-than-expected price tag of less than $900 billion over 10 years, which would be slightly less expensive than the new target for the House bill.
But the twin movements toward compromise were not well received by all lawmakers.