It's starting to feel like the 11th hour for health care reform. Even Democrats aren't hopeful of a vote by President Obama's August deadline, and two commentators are offering fresh ideas aimed at helping him avoid the fate of the last major push for an overhaul.
Call Bill Clinton, says Tina Brown at The Daily Beast. Brown says Bubba might have some lessons to share from his failed attempt at health care reform in 1993. She thinks Obama's health care plan could benefit from some good, old-fashioned triangulation, and perhaps a better salesman. "If Obama has lost his customary ability to synthesize, perhaps he should turn for help to that great ol' explainer William Jefferson Clinton."
Start a new system on the side, says Ezra Klein, who makes his pitch for a health insurance exchange, or "a single market, structured for consumer convenience, in which you choose between the products of competing health insurers (both public and private)." Klein says changing the current health care system is too politically unpopular, so liberals should build this new system on the side. "You let it demonstrate its efficiencies and improvements. You let the lure of lower costs and higher quality persuade Americans to migrate over of their own accord."
That's still too much government, says the editorial board of Investor's Business Daily of a health insurance exchange. "The exchange will be a highly regulated clearinghouse of providers that meet the government's standards. Only those providers that follow Washington's stringent guidelines will be allowed to join this exclusive club."