Blogs » Politcs Plus » Seven lost hours


President Obama should've spent those hours at the Blair House with key members of his own party because I don't think anyone thought the Republicans and Democrats would emerge from the health care summit with anything that even remotely sounded like a plan forward. The meeting ran as expected, the Republicans ran through a song and dance routine with coordinated phrases like "government run health care, we need to start over and we need to take it step by step,” the Democrats answered with "We are not that far apart.” The Democrats working hard to pass health care legislation believe everyone should have health care insurance; the Republicans think we need to reduce costs without harming the insurance industry. The Democrats emphasized coverage but the best Republican plan will only cover; 3 million new customers.

Within the first few minutes; Senator Lamar Alexander issued the talking points the GOP were going to use throughout the day like, " the Senate plan does not does lower cost, we need to start over, Reconciliation is horrible (although he admitted his party used it) but he never cited the number of people that his plan would cover." The president disputed Senator Alexander's charge that the CBO said the Senate plan. would increase costs. The AP, Factcheck, and others agreed with the president. The Republicans came prepared and subdued but President Obama went toe to toe with them without giving, an inch, even though at times he tried to make a lot of concessions to no avail. The Republicans brought their props (2,400 page senate bill) but all they needed was one sheet of paper for starting all over.

The Republicans are not fooling anyone, because they have never been interested in health care reform, they know it is a delaying tactic with the elections just around the corner, and they do not want to do anything to enhance President Obama's chances of winning in 2012.

The Republicans continue to say that no one wants this massive health care reform package to pass, and they have legitimate polls to back up that statement. If you bother to look into those polls, you will find these same people love the public option and various components of the bill. The Democrats will remove those items that are controversial and will reconcile their differences before submitting it for an up or down vote. I think the fence straddlers will see that the president made an honest effort but this is one issue that cannot be bipartisan.

I do give the Republicans their props; they can stay on message despite showing them evidence refuting their claims. i.e. It is a well-known fact that Tort Reform will not bring down costs very much but despite showing them evidence that 33 states already have tort reform; yet insurance rates continue to go up. In fact,recently health insurance premiums' have gone up in 11 states by double digits. They don't seem to understand, Health Savings Accounts, will not work for that worker that only makes $40,000. They just don't have that much disposable income.

Gridlock will be the norm unless the Democrats fight fire with fire and start passing legislation using a 51 vote majority. Reluctant Republicans will cross the line when they see an important piece of legislation will pass without their votes. The Democrats joined the Republicans to pass two tax cuts targeted for the wealthy and Medicare part D when they knew the GOP had the 51 votes.