Obama’s failure to communicate on health care

Jon Ward Contributor
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President Obama on Wednesday said the reason his health-care reform is on life support because Congress took too long to debating it and he didn’t talk enough to citizens about its benefits for them.

“I wish we had gotten it done faster,” Obama said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “People would have understood the degree to which … health care is part of a broader context of how am I going to be able to move the middle class forward in a more secure and stable way.”

Obama, one year to the day after his historic inauguration, argued that when Americans are educated about the details of his plan “those specific provisions are actually very popular.”

“One of the things that I have learned in Washington is you have to repeat yourself a lot because unfortunately it doesn’t penetrate,” he said.

The president, making his first public comments after a Republican candidate on Tuesday won the special election to fill Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat, said he understands that some Americans view his administration as a bunch of “technocrats up here … making decisions.”

But he said the main reason for this was not his policies but rather his communications strategy.

“What I haven’t always been successful at doing is breaking through the noise and speaking directly to the American people in a way that during the campaign you could do,” he said.

He also admitted he has failed to “change the tone here in Washington.”

“I am going to keep on trying, though,” he said.

However, he also said that the reason Republicans have opposed his initiatives has been because they made a decision “that the best political strategy was to simply say, ‘No.’”