Left-wing congressman Barney Frank urged President Barack Obama not to push ahead with healthcare reform, he revealed in an interview on Monday.
Instead he thought the Democrats should have pushed financial reform first, and that concentrating on health cost the party the House in 2010.
"Healthcare is enormously important to people,"Frank told New York magazine. "When you tell them that you¹re going to extend healthcare to people who don¹t now have it, they don't see how you can do that without hurting them.
"We paid a terrible price for healthcare," the retiring Massachusetts represntative added. "I would not have pushed it as hard."
Frank said that when Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's old Massachusetts Senate seat in 2010, he even suggested turning the clock back on the Democrats legislative agenda.
"I would have started with financial reform but certainly not healthcare," he said.
Frank, who is retiring this year after 16 terms in the House, said he won't miss Washington because of the increased partisanship, blaming it on modern communications.
"Twenty years ago, people had a common set of facts that they read. They read opinion journalists, but they got their information generally from newspapers and from broadcasts.
"Now, the activists live in parallel universes, which are both separate and echo chambers for each. If you're on the left, you listen to MSNBC, you go to the blogs, Huffington Post, et cetera, and you basically hear only what you agree with. If you're on the right, you watch Fox News and the talk shows, and you hear only what you agree with.
"When we try to compromise, what you find is not people simply objecting to the specific terms of the compromise, but the activists object even to your trying to compromise, because they say, 'Look, everybody I know agrees with us, so why are you giving in?'"
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