Health Plan

The table is set. Everyone’s been in their seats for a while. The restaurant is getting crowded. More than a few customers are already disputing the bill.

Is it almost time for President Obama to start ordering off the menu?

It’s a moment, of course, that the president has been putting off — his inclination being to let Congress handle the messy work, and show up in time to embrace something that’s been tidied up.

But the first full week of health care debate on Capitol Hill makes clear that the default position — the easiest outcome to achieve — is going to be getting nothing done. All of which might make it helpful for Democrats (and maybe a few Republicans) to know what something should look like.

Uninsured Map

Enter Obama (again), selling people what they think they need, still aren’t sure they want, are pretty sure they don’t understand, and are growing convinced that they can’t afford.

“Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll,” Kevin Sack and Marjorie Connelly write in the Sunday New York Times.

Yet: “It is not clear how fully the public understands the complexities of the government plan proposal, and the poll results indicate that those who said they were following the debate were somewhat less supportive,” Sack and Connelly write. “It is not clear how fully the public understands the complexities of the government plan proposal, and the poll results indicate that those who said they were following the debate were somewhat less supportive.”

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