The Thunder of Marching Feet
To push through a comprehensive health bill, the president and his administration will need to work closely with House and Senate leaders in a joint effort. Setting a broad set of principles and then letting the legislators hammer out a bill would not be an effective approach. Leaving the House Democrats to work out the details of the stimulus bill was a mistake; some of the weaknesses of the bill could have been avoided by strong White House participation at the very beginning.
In my view, it is imperative that the White House be closely involved in the drafting of a health bill. The process should be transparent and participatory.
At the same time, administration supporters should be mobilizing a broad range of nonprofits and constituencies to exert pressure on the legislators for passage. This will be one measure where mass popular support is likely to turn out to be crucial. The internet alone won't do it. There will have to be the thunder of "marching feet."
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