The Health Care Summit

Posted: February 21, 2010 in Current Events, Politics
Tags: , , ,

Give credit where credit is due, I think most politicians would have cut bait on health care reform if they were in Obama’s position.  But Obama is going to give it one more go, and try to use a health care summit Thursday to springboard his way to some sort of legislation.  Granted, Obama has stuck his neck so far out for health care reform, he may feel that at this point he is “pot committed” and has nothing much to lose anymore.  Still I think conventional wisdom would say that politically it would be best for Obama to pull the plug much like Clinton did with his own health care reform attempt and regroup.  But I think Obama realizes that we have to do something about health care and doesn’t want to start all over, or worse, continue to ignore the problem.

I like the fact that Obama has called for a summit between both sides.  I like the fact that this discussion will be televised.  More of the public’s business should be done in public, not behind closed doors.  It boggles my mind that so many Republicans apparently believe that such a public discussion is a “trap”.  Why?  How?  Even if somehow this is some sort of  evil darkside “trap” (the guy’s middle name is Hussein, it has to be a trap!), won’t the American public be able to determine that since it is being held out in the open?  Regardless of the ultimate outcome, I just don’t see how a public dialogue can be a bad thing.

Obama plans to post his proposal online on Monday.  He has challenged Republicans to do the same.  Republicans, you should take up this challenge.  This is your chance to prove that you are not the party of “no”.  It would be great to see the Republicans post a comprehensive plan, instead of just a few ideas.  These two plans could be the starting point for the summit, as they could compare the two plans and see if there are any common ideas.  Ideally there would be some give and take on the other ideas, and something could be hammered-out.

At least that would be nice to see.  But realistically, and it has been this way for a while, the party that is in power sees its role as doing whatever it needs to do to stay in power.  The party that is not in power sees its role as doing whatever it needs to do to regain power.  Actual problem solving is at best a secondary concern, if it is a concern at all.  So what we will probably actually see is the same political bickering and posturing that we have seen during this debate this whole past year.  And Obama will continue to be banging his head against a wall.  Soon we will be back to discussing “real” issues, like whether Obama bows too much or whether he uses the term “war” enough or not.

But at least he’s trying to address a serious issue here!

2/23 Update:  Here is a link to the President’s proposal:



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