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Obama's Turning Point

A survey released the same day Elmendorf dropped his bomb showed how Obama could still come out on top. The poll, for America's Agenda, a labor and business group backing health reform, by Democrat Celinda Lake and Republican Bill McInturff found bipartisan voter support for an agenda emphasizing cost containment more than insuring the uninsured.

One of the key elements of that agenda is moving toward a time when everyone could be cared for by a team of health-care professionals coordinated by a primary-care doctor -- the opposite of today's fee-for-service medicine.

All this left Obama facing a choice. He could encourage his congressional allies to push ahead quickly with plans that pretty clearly are badly flawed and overly expensive. Or he could ask them to reconsider and step up to the structural changes that could deliver the kind of reform voters want -- and might actually be able to afford.

On Friday, Obama urged lawmakers not to slow down -- even as doubts grow about the path they are on.

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