Phil Klein boils down what each party must do in order to win the health-care reform debate:
Will Americans trust Obama that he can insure everybody, control costs, allow everybody to keep the insurance they have, improve the quality of health care, avert a government takeover of medicine, avoid rationing, and avoid raising taxes on 95 percent of the population? Or will Republicans be able to convince Americans that he’s misleading them, that insuring everybody will require higher taxes, that expanding health care will raise costs unless the government imposes rationing, and that Obama’s plans will inevitably lead to a government takeover?
I tend to think that major reform of some kind is inevitable at this point, and that given the unemployment numbers, longstanding frustrations with the health-care system, and the president’s wide popularity, Obama has the advantage. But, given new data suggesting the public is increasingly wary of Obama’s spending habits, the outcome will depend on how effectively Republicans make the debate about cost rather than about coverage.