(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama spent years casting insurance companies as the most evil of actors in the health care system.

But with insurance cancellation notices hitting millions of consumers, Obama has launched none of the broadsides that became standard during the legislative fight over health care reform.

This time around, Obama needs the industry to make Obamacare work.

His restrained response over the past week shows just how much the dynamic between Obama and the insurance companies has shifted since the law passed — and how their fates have become intertwined. The health care law expands coverage to millions of Americans by sending them into the private insurance market armed with tax subsidies, forcing the president and his former nemeses into an uneasy partnership that’s only beginning to face strains.

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