Congress takes up legislation next week to give shareholders of public companies more say on executive compensation.
Price will be a major factor in winning bipartisan support, and the public insurance option could be a sticking point too.
Backers say the agreement with the United Arab Emirates is a model for other countries in the region. But critics worry about the UAE's ties with Iran.
A public insurance alternative is likely to be the most contentious of the reform proposals.
The business community says the bill, which makes it easier for workers to unionize, would be a job killer.
As it has slid, the state's citizens have begun to focus on its core dysfunctions.
Conservatives, resisting big government outlays on principle, begin to build the case for other options.