Obama takes hits from the right before he steps into health-care ring tonight


President Obama is still lacing up his gloves in preparation for a speech on health care tonight during which reformers hope he comes out swinging. But he’s taking jabs from the right even before he gets into the ring.

The right is trying to soften up Obama (or his national TV audience) by hitting both above and below the belt.

The conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) tries to preempt Obama’s holding up of Mayo Clinic as a model with a well-timed “report” about the Minnesota facility released yesterday: “Reforms that attempt to replicate high-quality practices — such as comparative effectiveness research and paying for value — may not automatically result in lower costs.” But AEI undercuts its quibbles with caveats and qualifiers that acknowledge how difficult and complicated it is to analyze cost and value of medical care at any scale.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s preemptive attack is more bare-knuckled: Whatever Obama says on health care reform, “we will continue to hit him on it.”

And Republican congressional leaders are letting loose with their own midday “pre-buttal.”


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