The Impact of the Health Care Bill on Foreign Policy

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

Passage of the health care bill is obviously of primary import inside the U.S., but it will also have an impact on U.S. foreign policy. The impact of the bill on foreign policy will be felt primarily in two ways. First, the passage of the bill will probably make Obama more popular internationally, particularly in Europe. Second, and probably more significantly, Obama had been focusing a great deal of time on this bill in recent months. During this time foreign policy, while not quite on the back burner, was less of a priority. This was not, as some have suggested, negligent on the part of the president, but a reflection of political realities in the U.S. Except for in the most extreme circumstances domestic issues are always more important to Americans, and thus to their presidents. While jobs and the economy, not health care specifically, had been, and remains, the most pressing domestic political issue facing the U.S., Obama‘s success on health care will allow him to focus more on foreign policy, and to do so from a position of strength.


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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
October 20, 2011