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Health Care TV Summit: Nowhere, Man
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I watched the President Obama-organized health care summit on Thursday via streaming CNN video (since my employer owns CNN, maybe they wouldn't mind too much if they found out about this--I did get a lot of work done). I was disappointed...in BOTH sides.
Yeah, I'm pretty much vote Democrat and I'm a registered Democrat. But I'm no Yellow Dog Democrat. If they screw up, I'll give them my thumbs-down. The problem for the Republicans is that I haven't found too many of those I want to vote for. So at best I will show my displeasure by holding my nose while I vote.
But two things came across pretty clear in the summit:
  1. The Democratic bills have flaws. As the President said, it's hard to justify exempting 800-thousand Floridians from the bill's provisions. And it's also hard to justify exempting Nebraska just to buy one Senator's vote.
  2. The Republicans are simply not willing to cooperate. The only ideas they will put forward are malpractice tort reform and interstate markets. We know they have other ideas, but they won't put them on the table. They are simply wishing that President Obama fails.
I've read a few articles on the summit and all seemed to lean too far left or right, but today's piece in the New York Times by Russ Douhat "Six Hours of Hot Air!" comes the closest to stating the way I feel:
The Democrats have a health care plan that may turn out very, very badly, and the Republicans, for all their protestations, don’t really have a plan at all.
But the Republicans have clearly decided to offer nothing, absolutely nothing, that could be construed as changing the existing system by more than an iota.
Rep. Harry Reed, if you're reading this (fat chance), I think you're making a mistake trying to ram health care reform through without a clearer consensus. I don't like the idea of starting over from scratch, but I think enough mistakes were made that you have no choice now.
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