JULIA GILLARD said 2011 would be her year of ''delivery''.
She is learning how hard it will be to ''deliver'' on all the mouldering old political problems that are clogging up her in-tray.
She got an in-principle agreement from the premiers last night to her new health funding model, but only after the premiers refused to sign off on important details of her new national funding pool and insisted they be revisited by officials.
Advertisement: Story continues below Kevin Rudd was also asking difficult questions in cabinet last Thursday night about exactly what her revised health and hospitals deal was going to deliver.
Despite cabinet processes having improved from his time, when the government was pretty much run by a four-person kitchen cabinet, they haven't reverted to that old-fashioned practice of ministers always being given detailed cabinet briefs of matters to be discussed.
After the Prime Minister gave a verbal presentation of her revised health plan, her predecessor had some pointed questions about its detail.
Several sources confirmed that while he conceded his idea of ''clawing back'' the GST was not going to get past the conservative state premiers, he took strong exception to totally abandoning the proposition that the federal government be the dominant funder.
That had been the central point of his reforms, the reason he had been able to say the buck would stop with him, the change which made good his 2007 promise to ''stop the blame game''.
He asked why the federal government could not be the dominant funder to the new funding pools, even if only by contributing 51 per cent. And he questioned the backdown on federal funding of 100 per cent of primary care.
They also confirmed that he said he could not accept the changes, before abruptly leaving the meeting. His colleagues thought he was angry and had ''stormed out''. Mr Rudd says he was just late to catch a plane.
By Sunday Rudd was publicly supporting the cabinet decision, which as a minster he is obliged to do, but then the premiers baulked at the details of the funding pool - mistrustful that it would amount to the federal government assuming control of their money by default.
One of the big reasons for the health shake-up was to stop the different levels of government fiddling the books to try to shift costs to each other and increasing transparency so everyone would know if it was happening.
Paul Keating once counselled his federal counterparts never to get between a state premier and a bucket of money.
Gillard said her single, transparent pool meant there would be ''no hiding, no hole in the bottom of the bucket as we're tipping money in at the top … Everybody will know who put them [the dollars] in and where they went.''
Last night she delivered on a deal and still got to keep an eye on what the states do with the extra $16 billion the federal government has tipped into the bucket. It wasn't exactly what she had put on the table, but it was a result.