Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.
Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.
Romney plan in Massey is going bankrupt so not a good comparison. As for leveraging his desire to be more in align with conservative views shows a lack of seriousness or complete stupidity on Frum's part. Obama would have lost the left if he went towards the Republicans, he has no serious desire since he started on his health plan drive to even entertain Republican ideas at any point in time.
Obama would only agree with a Republican as long as the Republican agreed with him first. The scenarios laid out by Frum is basically conservative surrendering their principles to Obama's whim to show Frum's idea of bipartisanship. If Frum was looking to demoralize voters who would vote GOP, then his way is the right method.