I understand the point that Ryan McNeely is trying to make, but one word of caution: the idea that Barack Obama's "hands-off" strategy changes anything about the responsibility of either Congress or the president for health care is pretty shaky. Yes, the approach that Obama used can and should be contrasted with the Bill Clinton/Ira Magaziner/Hillary Clinton strategy. Obama didn't attempt to drop a finished product on the steps of the Capitol.
But by all accounts, the administration was highly involved in each step of the day-to-day negotiations around the bill as it moved through the process. Moreover, had the Clinton bill actually moved through committee markups and floor action, Congress would have changed plenty of items -- just as the BTU tax was famously jettisoned from the Clinton budget package after it survived the House.
McNeely is correct, of course, that Congress did in fact pass health care, and it's fair to point out that there is perhaps some inconsistency involved if liberals give Obama all the credit, and Congress none (although I can see the argument the other way, too). But my point is simple: in no real sense did the Obama administration actually just sit back passively and wait for Congress to decide. Nothing hands off about it.
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