Overhauling Health Care Takes More Than Money Overcoming the politics entwined in changing the nation's health care system will be difficult. Over the weekend, some members of the Obama administration seemed to shift positions on what the president deems absolutely essential in this bill. One of the big changes seems to be the willingness to look at taxing health benefits as a way to pay for the bill.
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Overhauling Health Care Takes More Than Money

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Overhauling Health Care Takes More Than Money

Overhauling Health Care Takes More Than Money

Overhauling Health Care Takes More Than Money

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Overcoming the politics entwined in changing the nation's health care system will be difficult. Over the weekend, some members of the Obama administration seemed to shift positions on what the president deems absolutely essential in this bill. One of the big changes seems to be the willingness to look at taxing health benefits as a way to pay for the bill.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Joining us now, as she does most Mondays, is NPR News analyst Cokie Roberts. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS: Good morning Renee.

MONTAGNE: In turning to the politics of health care, Cokie, over the weekend some members of the Obama administration seemed to shift positions on what the president deems absolutely essential in this bill.

ROBERTS: So, there's a lot of negotiating still going on there. And while it's going on, you're seeing all kinds of campaigning around it. Particularly, new ads coming from the left - groups like MoveOn.org - going after Democrats who seem to be, in their view, wavering - Democrats like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska - without understanding, seemingly, that these Democrats could be in very bad shape in their states and Republicans could get elected if they get too far out there on issues like health care and energy.

MONTAGNE: And when it comes to Republicans, they seem to think their best move is simply to say no to the president's policies on health care, also energy and some other issues. Is that working for them?

ROBERTS: But, you know, even if that happens, Renee, it doesn't mean the Republican Party is in good shape. They need to look at what happened with the Democrats in 1982 after the Reagan landslide in 1980. Democrats picked up seats in that election, but it kept them from understanding that a fundamental realignment had taken place. And young people in 1984 went Republican and stayed there for a generation. Republicans could be looking at the same shift today.

MONTAGNE: And, again, to actually repeat a little bit, even so if it picks up seats in Congress, it's got some work to do in the long run.

ROBERTS: So, they've got a huge amount of work to do, if they don't want to look at the same kind of realignment the Democrats had to look at in the '80s.

MONTAGNE: That's NPR's Cokie Roberts.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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