The media and the Republicans have gotten the healthcare issue all wrong, White House insiders say. News outlets are faulted for portraying President Obama as losing popularity at a rapid rate over the summer because of his healthcare ideas. The media are also being faulted by Obama insiders for depicting healthcare legislation as in trouble on Capitol Hill.
A senior Obama adviser told U.S. News this morning that the president's numbers "have not disintegrated" and that support for healthcare overhaul remains strong with the public, according to the latest private and public polls. As for the GOP, the official says that this week's markup of healthcare legislation in the Senate Finance Committee has been a positive if messy process that will help the president win approval for a bill in the long run. "The Democrats have remained very united in the Finance Committee," says the Obama adviser. "The Republicans have been throwing stuff against the wall, and it's not sticking." The official says the Republicans are coming across as obstructionists who "don't want to play ball." "The Republicans want to deny the president a victory" and "will use lies to scare people," the official said. "Their tactics are not new. Their ideas are tired."
White House officials are still predicting that Congress will pass a bill that Obama will sign by the end of the year.