This is a potent line of attack by the Romney campaign, combining Obama's negligence/ineptness on the economy with his much-hated legislation. It was all about "making history" for the One. In response, Noam Scheiber responds to Romney interpretation of his book with, well, you can't call it a contradiction:
I argue that Obama really was more focused on long-term, historically significant accomplishments than marginal, near-term differences in the pace of the recovery. On some level, Obama was prepared to accept (and I’m making up these numbers for argument’s sake) three years of painfully high unemployment with health care reform rather than 30 months of painfully high unemployment without it. And the reason is the one Summers alluded to (before disputing): Health care was simply more historically important than avoiding those extra six months of pain.