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Archive: March 1, 2009 - March 7, 2009

The Thunder of Marching Feet

Mass popular support will be crucial to passing health care reform legislation, so the administration and its supporters should be mobilizing a broad range of nonprofits and constituencies to exert pressure on the legislators.

By Pablo Eisenberg | March 5, 2009; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Real Issue

A framework of broad principles, as President Obama has proposed, is good but the real issue is the willingness of stakeholders to address the toughest trade-off: containing costs versus expanding coverage.

By Patricia McGinnis | March 5, 2009; 9:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Decision Making, Government-Style

In government, with the possible exception of the military during combat, decisions are not made, they are negotiated.

By Norm R. Augustine | March 4, 2009; 12:23 PM ET | Comments (5)

A National Conversation

The last time an administration tried to fundamentally change health care policy they gathered a group of very bight people, spent months is closed-door conversations, and produced a well-reasoned plan. It failed, and here's how to avoid those pitfalls.

By Jim Kouzes | March 3, 2009; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (1)

Five Key Principles

The Obama administration is right in inviting stakeholders to take part in the reform process, but it must remain true to five interrelated principles.

By Michael Maccoby | March 2, 2009; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Surviving "Enemy Contact"

Knowing that, as military leaders say, "no plan survives contact with the enemy," President Obama should still plan thoroughly -- and, for the moment, keep his cards to his chest.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | March 2, 2009; 4:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Man on the Moon

Just as JFK could convince a janitor to work toward putting a man on the moon, so Obama must define health care reform as an important challenge.

By Yash Gupta | March 2, 2009; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Slicing Up the Task

President Obama needs to do the tasks he can do -- like lay out general principles -- and delegate the rest to others, who are probably hungry for the responsibility.

By Roger Martin | March 2, 2009; 4:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Magic Time

There is no formula for getting the job done: It's as much about personalities as it is about principles, as much about close-to-the-ground politics as it is about high-minded policy prescriptions.

By Alan M. Webber | March 2, 2009; 3:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Friends In the Right Places

Like Clinton and Carter before him, Obama faces an enormous challenge in overhauling health care, but he also has what they didn't have: broad consensus among key congressional players.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | March 2, 2009; 3:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Why Less Is More

On ambitious proposals like this, leaders who do all the work for everyone, laying out a detailed plan, become easy targets for criticism, like the Clintons did. Better to step back and let others craft the details.

By Marty Linsky | March 2, 2009; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Only Strategy

President Obama can not, on his own, do very much about health care reform. Involving congressional decision-makers -- thereby coopting them and building support -- may be his best, and only, strategy in this case.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | March 2, 2009; 11:49 AM ET | Comments (1)

Get Congress Involved

Congress is going to have to approve whatever plan he suggests. Why not skip ahead and get them involved in the development of the plan?

By Marshall Goldsmith | March 2, 2009; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

"People Support What They Help Create"

President Obama is wisely setting forth the principles of his health care plan rather than the details and then having the patience to work out the details with the right congressional committees.

By Bill George | March 2, 2009; 11:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

Knowing His Limits

President Obama seems to realize what Bill Clinton did not: that Congress will write any new laws, and that his job is to spell out the grand idea.

By Mickey Edwards | March 2, 2009; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Lot of Listening

President Obama should launch a public campaign pushing the outlines of the plan, work closely with legislators on the details -- and listen to everyone's responses.

By Abraham Zaleznik | March 2, 2009; 10:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

Reduce Costs First

We should not expand health care coverage until we have meaningfully reduced health care costs and the tens of trillions of existing unfunded federal health care promises. We must not shoot ourselves again!

By David Walker | March 2, 2009; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (1)

Hold the Details

The president is most effective when he lays out general principles and places specific plans and priorities within them. Too many details at this point are likely to cause disengagement on the part of the public and quibbling on the part of the Beltway partisans.

By Howard Gardner | March 2, 2009; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Open Debate

Empowering stakeholders and opening up a national debate is the right leadership decision to succeed in an arena where others have failed.

By Andy Stern | March 2, 2009; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

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