Obama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions
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Former President Obama says in an excerpt of his new book that he was overconfident in his chances of passing health care legislation in the early days of his presidency.

Obama explains in an excerpt of "A Promised Land" published by The New Yorker why he failed to understand the level of resistance he would face in his fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, citing Americans' wariness of Washington and the 2008 economic recession.

"When I think back to those early conversations, it’s hard to deny my overconfidence," the former president writes. "I was convinced that the logic of health-care reform was so obvious that even in the face of well-organized opposition I could rally the American people’s support."


"As for the political hazards that Axe and Rahm worried about, the recession virtually guaranteed that my poll numbers were going to take a hit anyway. Being timid wouldn’t change that reality," he continued, referring to top aides David AxelrodDavid AxelrodBiden leans on foreign policy establishment to build team Biden rolls out national security team What a Biden administration should look like MORE and Rahm Emanuel. "Even if it did, passing up a chance to help millions of people just because it might hurt my reelection prospects—well, that was exactly the kind of myopic, self-preserving behavior I’d vowed to reject."

The president's health care plan became one of the signature accomplishments of his two-term presidency. While widely supported by Democrats, it has faced criticism from Republicans and the progressive wing of his party. Supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Sanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Progressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal MORE (I-Vt.) have lobbied for an option to insure more Americans such as "Medicare for All."

Republicans attempted a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2017 but failed in a dramatic Senate vote when the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSmearing presidential election will turn off young voters and undermine democracy Choking — not cheating — was Trump's undoing Gabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in MORE (R-Ariz.) cast the deciding vote to defeat his own party's bill.

Obama's memoir will be released in November.