President Obama began his remarks in the East Room on Wednesday with a reminiscence. Almost exactly one year before, he had stood in the very same spot, formally launching his initiative to reform America’s health care system.

I happened to be there that day and I remember it well. Representatives of every interest group were there, as were congressional leaders of both parties. In breakout groups and then a question-and-answer session that followed Obama’s speech, there was much talk of consensus--of a determination to work together in good faith.

“The status quo is the one option that’s not on the table,” Obama had told his audience. They seemed to agree.

Now that all seems very naive. 

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