Did Barack Obama overlearn the lessons of 1994? The President has made a deliberate effort to stay out of the health care negotiations that are taking place on Capitol Hill, because he doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes that the Clintons made of sending up a plan and telling Congress to pass it–only to realize too late that they had created something for all sides to attack. But now, up against a tight deadline to get this legislation passed, some Democrats say (mostly privately) that they wish the President were more of a presence in the talks, and that he would spell out more clearly what is and isn’t acceptable to him in a final product. For instance, does it have to include a government-run public plan like Medicare for the uninsured? Here’s a story I wrote on this dilemma for TIME.com.