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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Heath Care Summit- OPEN THREAD

Anyone see it? part of it? Had to urge to throw a brick through the television listening to the pundits declare it a Republican victory after only an hour? Did you scream when CNN cut off Steny Hoyer’s speech to run an anti-HCR commercial?

I missed the Barasso exchange because I was stuck on the Long Island Expressway in a snowstorm coming home from work.

Speak up.  


A response from a conservative friend on Facebook…you sitting down?

Health care would be less expensive if the government weren’t involved. LBJ and a Democrat Congress felt the need to create Medicare, which subsidizes health care for everyone 65+. The government determines the rate at which doctors are paid and it goes down every year. Therefore, those with private insurance end up paying more to make up the difference. Which part of the Constitution even allows a Congressional debate for this?

Scary people actually believe this.  


  1. Shaun Appleby

    This was the Republicans’ last chance to participate in a process the President clearly is not going to let slide.  I admire his approach, tactics and, ultimately, his position:

    WASHINGTON – After a day of debate and disagreement, President Barack Obama concluded Thursday’s unprecedented live talkfest on health care with the bleak assessment that accord between Democrats and Republicans may not be possible. He rejected Republican preferences for seeking a step-by-step solution or simply starting over.

    Obama strongly suggested that Democrats will try to pass a sweeping overhaul without GOP support, by using controversial Senate budget rules that would disallow filibusters. And then, he said, this fall’s elections would write the verdict on who was right.

    “We cannot have another yearlong debate about this,” Obama said at the end of a 7 1/2-hour marathon policy session.

    Richard Alonso-Zaldivar and Jennifer Loven – Obama Health Care Summit Huffington Post 25 Feb 10

    Any dissenters on the subject of the Obama administration’s commitment to this legislation, public option notwithstanding?  I can’t imagine a scenario in which he staked more political capital on this issue without actually committing political harakiri over it.  Get ‘er done, reconciliation here we come…  Common sense has been trumped by politics for too long.  This is now a partisan challenge for Democratic solidarity and an IQ test for the American electorate.  Here’s hoping…

  2. HappyinVT

    day.  Thank goodness the work load today was light enough I could get away with it.

    The Barrasso video just for you.

  3. Shaun Appleby

    Another major point to Obama:

    For Mitch McConnell, it was a “a fabulous discussion.” For John Boehner, “a useful discussion.”

    The Republican leaders in Congress wrapped up the health care summit with the president and his congressional allies full of praise for the gathering.

    “Mr. President, I’m going to say thank you for having us here. I think it’s been a useful conversation and as I listened to you open up this meeting, I thought to myself, I don’t disagree with anything that you said,” Boehner, the Republican minority leader, offered to Obama.

    “The American families are struggling with health care. We all know it. The American people want us to address this in a responsible way. So I really do say thanks for having us all here.”

    Boehner then qualified his approval and drifted off into a set of talking points, but the point had been made: The summit looked, as Boehner attested, very reasonable and rational: Grown-ups discussing the details of comprehensive health care reform. There was no talk of death panels.

    Ryan Grim – Health Care Summit ‘Fabulous,’ ‘Useful,’ Say GOP Leaders Huffington Post 25 Feb 10

    It was an offer they couldn’t refuse.  Obama took an enormous risk of some sound-bite gaffe dooming seven and a half hours of unscripted live television but Democrats didn’t miss a beat.

  4. HappyinVT

    Some fabulous quotes:

    Few great quotes from this surreal event:

    1.”If you think it’s a socialist plot, then please drop out of the federal employees health program”. (Dick Durbin)


    2.”Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over”. (President smartass). “I’m reminded of it every day”. (Even more excellent news for…).


    3.”My colleague, Leader Boehner, the law of the land is there is no public funding of abortion, and there is no public funding of abortion in these bills and I don’t want our listeners or viewers to get the wrong impression from what you said. Mr. Camp, you said that the Medicare cuts in this bill cut benefits for seniors. They do not. They do not. So I want the record to show just in those two cases, we may have differences of opinion and approach and evaluation of the value of different things, but certain things are facts about our bills that I cannot let the opposite view stand when they are stated”. (Nancy Pelosi, wiping the floor with Camp and the Tan-Man).


    4.”Studies have shown that the people who use health spending accounts have a lot of disposable income, and WE are talking about folks who DON’T”. (President smartass).


    5.Obama: “John Boehner, do you want to say anything in closing?”. Tan-Man: “No”. (Please don’t cry).


    6.”I asked a question …. and I didn’t get an answer on it …. and you’re wasting time…”. (President smartass).


    7.”Somehow you didn’t reform health care when you had the WH, House and Senate”. (President smartass).


    8.”Rep Barton, I couldn’t quite follow your math, not sure you could either…”. (President smartass).


    9.”You liked the idea of an exchange until I embraced it and then suddenly it became less of a good idea.” (Well, you know).


    10.”This is great, I wasn’t expecting this, I thought it would be Kabuki. The President has real guts for doing this!” (Howard Dean).


    11.”The most patient man in the world is Barack Obama”. (Harry Reid).


    12.”Our President is a great leader”. (Nancy Pelosi).


    13.”I have been here for 30 years and i can’t remember an event like this”. (Steny Hoyer).




    And today’s winner:

    “The President talked more than Republicans and Democrats Combined!”. (Jon Kyl is hurt, poor baby).

    #8 or 9 are my favorites.

  5. I thought the Republicans made some points that were not countered by the Dems and they also slipped in a few talking points that are factually incorrect. Overall, I think they looked a little better than they did at the Maryland retreat.

    The GOP is sticking to its guns. The only things I heard them offer were tort reform and selling across state lines. They keep pointing to the tort reform in Texas as an example of how to do it. What they don’t mention is that Texas ranks 47th in this country for quality of health care. Some model.

    I thought the President came across very well. If you read the comments on some sites, like Politico or any site that is linked to by Drudge, you will find comments based on the ’empty suit’ or ‘teleprompter’ memes. These people still think President Obama isn’t very bright and can’t carry on a conversation. All he can do is give a good speech. I wonder to myself what world these people live in.

  6. HappyinVT

    Sarah apparently lasted an hour into the health care summit and then decided watching the women’s gold metal hockey game was more important.  And Jeb called her “intellectually incurious.”

  7. Shaun Appleby

    A further reminder that this is more about closing ranks than ‘stand and deliver:’

    The overwhelming majority of those that watch live today or follow news coverage of the event later tonight and tomorrow will likely be the same news junkies that have been closely following news about health care reform all along.

    But this event is extremely important with one small but very crucial audience: the members of the House and Senate and the news junkies that surround and advise them. For them this event probably serves as something of a demonstration project for how the health care debate might play out in their own elections later this fall: will the substance of the discussion help change the tone of the debate or the coverage? Will health reform supporters gain an upper hand in selling whatever plan faces further votes in the House and Senate?

    Mark Blumenthal – Health Summit Reality Check Pollster 25 Feb 10

    And an important project it is, too.

  8. creamer

    that the GOP made no effort to push tort reform in a real sense. Obama has mentioned an openess to this on many ocassions, seemingly offering the GOP an opportunity to bring an admendment.

    They are going to scream about using reconciliation to pass a major bill, forgetting that the bill has already passed and this is merely admending it. I hope our freinds in Washington realize how winable this argument is.

  9. HappyinVT

    is due to run out Sunday?  The Senate (surprise, surprise) cannot vote because one Senator is holding up the vote.  That Senator is Jim Bunning of KY.  And he had to miss the KY-SC rematch to do so.  Almost makes me wish KY has lost again to SC.

    And now that most members are out of DC it is almost guaranteed that such benefits will expire.

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