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Obama: Lack of Transparency on Health Care Was 'A Mistake.'

9:59 AM, Jan 26, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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After several weeks of denial, Obama is ready to 'fess up to breaking the C-SPAN promise:

“We had to make so many decisions quickly in a very difficult set of circumstances that after awhile, we started worrying more about getting the policy right than getting the process right,” Obama told ABC’s Diane Sawyer Monday. “But I had campaigned on process—part of what I had campaigned on was changing how Washington works, opening up, transparency. ...The health care debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst supporters that we just don't know what's going on. And it's an ugly process and it looks like there are a bunch of back room deals.”

Two things. 1) The process is part of what made the policy so bad. It's not as if the transparent process was sacrificed to bring forth a sterling, expertly crafted piece of legislation. Obama seems to cling to the idea that it's merely a perception problem, not a real problem, voters have with health care. 2) It looks like there are a bunch of back-room deals because there are a lot of back-room deals. Again, it's a real problem, not a perception problem. The president then took responsibility, but shortly thereafter passed the buck:

“Let's just clarify. I didn't make a bunch of deals,” Obama told ABC. “There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked.”

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