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Coro Fellows

As part of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, these 12 Southern California fellows are engaged in a full-time, nine-month, graduate-level leadership training program that prepares individuals for public-affairs leadership.

Disappointing performance

Q: Even before we know the outcome of the health care vote in the House, how would you rate President Obama's leadership on the issue?

Barack Obama's health care reform effort is being pushed to its limit in the legislature, but his leadership up to this point has been disappointing. Obama's current struggles spring from his inconsistencies during the bill-making process. He did not set clear priorities and, as a result, the purpose of the bill was lost.

When Obama first introduced his health-care reform initiative, the crux of the bill was the public option. After Scott Brown's surprise victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, the public option was removed in an attempt to salvage the bill in the face of new legislature math. Even if an alternate form of coverage exists in a modified version, the very fact that Obama decided to make that concession essentially marked his ruin. That decision ripped out the heart of the bill.

Obama lost sight of his priorities when pushing health care reform. If his goal was to pass his health care reform bill no matter what the consequences, he should have been more aggressive at the start. By aiming for unrealistic goals that steered away from the primary objective, such as aiming for bi-partisanship, the initiative was more susceptible to failure and delays. What makes this worse is that the negotiations over the bill were not across party lines, but were instead used to galvanize the Democratic Party to vote together. Only one Republican voted for the bill in the house, and it took weeks of negotiation with Senator Lieberman for a "yea" vote.

In many ways, the pace at which the bill was going through the legislature was a sign of complacency, given the importance of the issue and the capacity of the Democrats to push the bill through before the Massachusetts election. With each passing day, public confidence started to decline for the bill, and now any decision is an attempt to salvage instead of lead. Many of Obama's actions are now reactions to problems that he could have prevented by simply demonstrating his purpose not through words, but through decisive action. --Jimmy Duong

Just trust me

It's clear that the American people elected Barack Obama with great hopes and greater expectations. His initial approval ratings soared and he seemed destined for success. This hope and confidence and public exuberance seems to have unfortunately fed Obama's self-righteousness, leading to a health-care overhaul process that has alienated many Americans.

For example, the president has said that the health-care overhaul is "the right thing to do," and he has even promised that American citizens who oppose reform will come around once the bill passes, changes are implemented, and benefits become obvious. While I don't doubt Obama's intentions, I think that his leadership on the health care issue has been poor. His assumption that the American people should trust him and trust the outcome offends some. His inability to sell reforms to many in his own party may indicate the gap that exists between what is "right" and what is realistic.

While Obama may be a profound orator, he seems to be stumbling over his efforts to communicate what reform means and what value it holds to a large swath of Americans and many within his own party. Telling us to trust him and ensuring us that the outcome will be positive seems to mostly turn off the unsure and strengthen the anti. --Sean Holiday

By Coro Fellows

 |  March 18, 2010; 1:58 AM ET
Category:  Public policy Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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They decided early on not to pursue true euro style universal health care. This was their greatest mistake. It would have been best for the nation with substantial cost containment from all sides: hospitals, insurance, pharmaceuticals, malpractice attorneys and physicians.

Instead they got on the health care gravy train with massive corruption and back room deals. They decided to mislabel it as health care reform and to sell the sizzle instead of the steak. It is called bait and switch.

We should all be asking what the old lady in the Wendy's commercial asked: Where's the beef?


Posted by: alance | March 19, 2010 10:57 PM
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Lets be real here if we are going to have a truly intelligent discussion.

Do the math at 1.5 million a day since last April 1st 2009 almost 1 year ago - 354 days = $531 spent by lobbyists and documented by filing reports to defeat Obama at being President and health care reform has become a ridiculous public spectacle full of distortion
and people who are not who they say they are. You need to get a life based on reality.

Your distorted perspective appeals to the under-educated or people currently making windfall profits and stand to lose under regulatory oversight. Even the have-to-be-honest CBO has weighed in and agreed the Obama Administration are exactly where they say they are in cost saving besides it being the right thing to do.

I really, really would like to meet a few of the many distortionists who are trying to topple the United Stated Government for their own selfish interests and personally apply some more than friendy persuasion till the sun shines inside out.

Posted by: danglingwrangler | March 18, 2010 10:43 PM
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Exact Same Style weekend event by US Congress sent HelathCare bill to US Senate in LATE 2009. Several Problems then, US Congress was NOT In session that day/NIGHT & photos show Person with Grey hair, heavy set & Mustache, identified in News Release as US Congressional Sgt at Arms, whom Lost Job (fired) about 6 Years ago. Recently, earlier today, picture on internet with Same Heavy set gray haired & Mustached defunct Sgt at ARMS, with group in US Congress Floor area with Hon Pelosi, Seems that specific BAD guard Knows how to enter US Congress when out of session & Pull Spoof Photo session that becomes foundation for HealthCare bill Moving Bill on in Process, complete Fraud, Public Seems NOT smart Enough to UnderStand Mess has fallen into. terrible Crime, Right in Front of US Public Eyes.
Murder Is NOT Health Care & Prsent Bill Is Harvest of People whom bought BAD Package, NOT HealthCare At ALL. Entertainment Murder In isolated Place called hospitol. Inside Foundation of present HealthCare, Is HATE of Citizens of United States of America Lawyers Are that Way with Others. Whole Lie now called health Care Bill Needs Be Thrown Out, Defeated. Congress Is About To Criminalize HealthCare Process Further than every before. Public Being Duped & Repeat of first events in US Congress in Lat 2009. US CongressPeople Are NOT Above Law.


Posted by: thomasxstewart1 | March 17, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ThomasStewart1 | March 18, 2010 5:11 PM
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Where is the Bill from the Republican Party? It's clear the writers at the Washington Post are the typical paid Hookers for the Health Insurance Companies, and will write what ever their Pay Masters tell them to write.

The Republicans were in the Majority from 1994 to 2006, yet they never introduced a Health Care Reform Bill.

Medicare Part D was added to the National Debt, and the Washington Post, never mention a word against that $3.2 Trillion Dollar, FRAUD of the American Tax Payer.

Now all of a sudden the Washington Post and it's pseudo Journalist grow a SPINE since President Obama came into Office.

When You HYPOCRITE decide to become a REAL Newspaper, and stop being a Paid HOOKER for all those Reichwing Special Interest Group, please inform the American people.

Until then, the WAPO is nothing more than Printed version of Fox News, and the PROPAGANDA WING of the Republican Party.

Posted by: austininc4 | March 18, 2010 2:55 PM
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