I still want to be optimistic. I always thought that all Presidents from either party wanted reall SS reform and real Medicare reform. They know the country needs it but Washington never lets it happen. Both W and Clinton wanted to put SS on more sound footing. It was Washington that wouldn't. Medicare is even more pressing now. I also think Obama is incented to make major reform to Medicare because that's his preferred model (as opposed to private models). This all adds up to an opportunity for change, but little confidence (within the audiences I had) that the President will make any real concessions to get what he wants. That is why the impending problems with health care reform really matter. The President might need Congress to bail him out of that problem. If so, he'll have to give somewhere else in a big way because the R's really have no incentive to help Healthcare reform actually work out.