I watched the Health Care Summit today on C-Span. Before I go further, I'd like to give kudos to the network. They did a fabulous job.
Here's my take on the Summit:
Republicans were intent on arguing for a reset. Getting a "do over" on the legislation would be a significant win for them. Not only could they claim credit for "stopping a government takeover of health care," (which incidentally is a misrepresentation..) they would gain more time to whittle away at any attempt for reform in an election year. Democrats would be fools to sacrifice their advantage at this stage in the game, so my money says the Republicans will be disappointed.
The President handled the matter very well today. He appeared very Presidential and kept himself above the fray. Throughout the day, he sought to keep the focus on solutions and grounds for compromise rather than political points.
John Boehner is a lying sack of shit. Not only does his proposed legislation do nothing to ameliorate the health care problem in any appreciable way, it would exacerbate it. The true beneficiary would be John Boehner and his re-election committee. Boehner outright lied through his teeth with his figures--his misuse of data was so extreme that calling him a liar is to defame real liars everywhere.
Dick Durbin nailed the problem succinctly. He asked everyone present if they would be willing to give up their insurance so they would understand the plight of millions of Americans. Wonder how many of those rich people would do that? I smell a "let them eat cake" obliviousness run rampant.
Jim Cooper acquitted himself appropriately. He reiterated that every delay in reform costs lives and pushes the debt onto succeeding generations. Excellent point. Jim doesn't photograph well though....
Some annoyances: John McCain needs to get a clue. Henry Waxman, although rather accurate, is no Mr. Personality.
My ultimate opinion: I think the Summit was a success. It forced everyone to put forward their ideas to be judged on the merits. It reduced the partisan advantage of health care reform.
The President and the Democrats have extended the olive branch of bipartisanship (moreso than the Republicans). I suspect they will push their agenda and pass reform, either with or without Republican help. If they're smart they'll push ahead.