Following President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Democratic congressional leaders have announced that the push for comprehensive health care reform legislation is on indefinite hold.

The entire process has been on wrong track from the very beginning. Once leaders in Congress saw that the American people generally disapproved of their proposals, rather than taking a step back, they tried to ram through reform using power moves and backroom deals. The entire issue has become so snarled that Congress couldn’t get out of the mess they created for themselves.

Fortunately, President Obama gave Congress an out this week when he proclaimed the new focus of his administration would be job growth. But during the same speech he reiterated his commitment to health care reform.

“As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed,” Mr. Obama said in his address. “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Here’s what I ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close.”

Well, Mr. President, there is a better approach. If Congress is serious about getting a health care bill passed this year, it should abandon its one-government-fits-all designs and instead take its first serious look at the patient-centered health care solutions the Texas Public Policy Foundation has championed all along.

– Elizabeth Young