Both President Obama and Governor McCrory are learning that reforming health care can be harmful to your political health. Their politics are different, but their experiences are strikingly similar.
Both are trying to make big changes in the health care system, Obama with the Affordable Care Act and McCrory with Medicaid privatization.
Both have had a hard time explaining exactly what they’re doing. Few people can explain in a few words what Obamacare does. Few grasp what McCrory is trying to do with Medicaid.
Both have had trouble with websites and computer glitches.
Both operate in a poisonous, polarized political and media environment with political opponents who are poised to pounce.
Both face skeptics in their own party.
Both have Cabinet secretaries who have become piñatas for blame and calumny.
From both, the lesson is the same. Health care is big, and it’s complicated. You better be clear about what you’re doing. You better not underestimate the obstacles. And you better bring your A game.