In the long run,
On Thursday, the contrite president announced that Americans whose healthcare insurance policies have been canceled due to requirements of the Affordable Care Act would have another year to keep those policies. This new guarantee is meant to make up for his ill-considered promise that no one would lose their old policies if they wanted to keep what they had.
The problem with Obama's new promise, though, is that he cannot force insurers to restore policies they have already terminated. And rather than doing the president any favors, those insurers are attacking him for trying to change the rules in the middle of the game.
Obama has a mess on his hands and -- judging by his almost daily apologies for the screwed-up launch of the national healthcare exchange website, as well as for his misstatements about the effect of the plan on several million people who buy their own policies -- it is pretty clear he knows how deep the mess has become.
Instead of anyone offering to help him out, though, everyone is piling on.
His fellow Democrats in the House and
It may seem strange that Democrats would prefer to run against Obama rather than put in extra effort to make the president's healthcare plan work, but fear of losing a political career makes politicians do weird things.
Electoral considerations are also what drive the Republican response to Obama's predicament. Any bad news for the president is good news for them. The last thing they would think of doing is anything constructive to improve America's healthcare system if doing so would help the president they despise.
The media are running with the story, of course -- not just the permanent opposition at