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Obama's health-care summit: Worthwhile?

President Obama declared Thursday that the time for debate over health-care reform has come to an end, closing an unusual seven-hour summit with congressional leaders by sending a clear message that Democrats will move forward to pass major legislation with or without Republican support. Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  February 26, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It was put up or shut up time. Now, we have seen the true colors of those involved. Solution? Vote them all out. No more incumbents, no more career politicians.

Posted by: DrFish | February 26, 2010 10:23 AM

If 80% of the public is happy with their insurance -- and 60% of the public has government insurance progams -- then what's the problem with having a public option to offer people? ARe the Repubs are just too selfish too share what they have with us?

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | February 26, 2010 10:27 AM

It was worthwhile if for no other reasons than to see what a "tool" Eric Cantor is and to be reminded of why John McCain lost the election.

Posted by: MC55 | February 26, 2010 10:43 AM

Sixty percent of the public has government insurance? It certainly isn't health insurance. This is just more left wing lies meant to deceive the public. It isn't working anymore. The public is on to your lies and have rejected the progressive/liberal agenda. Get over it and drop this health care fiasco. We want JOBS not another unfundable entitlement program that will bankrupt the country.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | February 26, 2010 10:44 AM

Posted by: MC55
It was worthwhile if for no other reasons than to see what a "tool" Eric Cantor is and to be reminded of why John McCain lost the election.

Actually, it was worth while so we could see why so many people regret voting for Obama over McCain. If the election were held today we would be looking at President McCain and Senator Obama.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | February 26, 2010 10:47 AM

It seems pretty obvious that public has decided. Sentiment has turned strongly against this bloated, monstrosity of payoffs to the multiple special interest groups. By at least 60 -40 percent they want the process to begin anew.... with a clean sheet of paper.
As our president has so eloquently stated, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig". This Health Care Bill is definitely a pig.

Posted by: tombmagic | February 26, 2010 10:47 AM

Republicans have been playing an elementary number game to fool people when they claimed the majority of Americans do not support the reform bill. Suppose the bill has just 2 provisions, each has 70% support of the population, then only 49% of the people support the entire bill. 51%, the majority, have something they don't like, but it doesn't mean that they prefer to scratch the bill and start over. This is a standard trick for the minority to pretend that they represent the majority. The truth is, in this simple example, only 9% of the do not like the bill. 42% of the people are half and half, not really against it.

Posted by: wohoho | February 26, 2010 10:50 AM

Actually, this meeting was great for Republicans. they finally got air time to voice their plan and reasons for opposing Obamacare. They came across as prudent and credible while the Democrats just repeated their same old tired mantras that the public have soundly rejected.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | February 26, 2010 10:50 AM

Hey wohoho, you must have made an "A" in your fuzzy math class. Spin it however you choose but the overwhelming majority of the public wants Obamacare dumped and the process started from scratch.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | February 26, 2010 10:53 AM

What do people want? Jobs with benefits to take care of their families. Why are jobs with benefits scarce? Benefits are too expensive because insurance companies don't offer health insurance out of benevolence, they do it because they make a buttload of money. Blindly spewing your party dogma on either side doesn't change the fact that health insurance IS about jobs. There are plenty of jobs out there. Stop by McDonalds. There just aren't plenty of jobs with health insurance.

Posted by: crassostrea | February 26, 2010 10:55 AM

It is laughable to hear Republicans warning Democrats how they would lose the next election if the reform bill is passed. Do they not all want to see that happen? If they really believe it, they should help the Democrats pass the bill and take credits, and then lose badly in the next election. Presumably that would be the fastest way for Republicans to win big in the next election.

Posted by: wohoho | February 26, 2010 10:57 AM

I wonder how many of these 30 million mooks without health insurance have cable tv, a flat screen, a car and the latest cell phone.

Posted by: robtr | February 26, 2010 11:00 AM

The "Health Care Summit" was another of many photo ops for the President. He seems to think that if he is not on national TV every day, he will disappear.
The put down of McCain by saying "well, we aren't campaigning any more so I don't have to keep my campaign promises' was exactly what one would expect of him. Say anything to get elected and ignore it afterward.
The Democrats will pass the health care bill. They could have done it months ago. They do not need Republican votes. They can use the 'reconciliation' option. Even though it is legally supposed to be used only in cases of taxes or for emergency financial situations (as other presidents have used it) the Democrats can say 'It has been used before so there is nothing wrong with using it now".
The Republicans are being told that if they won't sign on to a huge pork filled bill, they are being obstructive. I,for one, hope they are - the bill is fatally flawed and should be scrapped. The Republicans came to the 'summit' with a plan. The Democrats came with sob stories most of which turned out to be untrue or twisted.

Posted by: tenshi1 | February 26, 2010 11:00 AM

To MikeJ9116: No, I didn't just get A in my math classes. I teach math and physics at a major university for over 20 years. The math I explained is high school level. Students need it for SAT. There is nothing fuzzy about that. When people are not in command of basic math, they argue with emotion. it's okay to do that, but they shouldn't pretend that they know what the numbers mean.

Posted by: wohoho | February 26, 2010 11:05 AM

Hopefully, people saw that Republicans were not serious about negotations. They came with talking points: Start Over; Clean Sheet of Paper & Step by Step Approach. Every Republican said those words and even one who got off track had to look at his notes to remember the words "step by step". They're entitled to their opinions but give me a break many of their ideas are in the bill.

My question - why are rich people denying uninsured; poor; people with existing conditions; people who have lost their jobs; etc. the same right to decent health care that they enjoy? I don't care if the bill isn't the best it's better than nothing.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 26, 2010 11:06 AM

1. It gave us an opportunity to hear republican views..often cut short or out by the Dems and their media friends.
2. It did show a few rational ideas that should be considered.
3. It exposed the mumble bumble of the Speaker.
4. It demostrated that the President expected agreement with his plan and that it was really political theatre( good old Chicago style)
5. It laid the ground for a tidal wave of resentment and reaction in the fall elections.

Posted by: jacques21 | February 26, 2010 11:22 AM

Neither side is serious about coming off their isses. Face it, in order for liberals to exist they need three things: entitlement hounds, illgeal criminal aliens without borders AND thug unions like the SEIU.

Now, I am not here to pay for anyone's lifestyle. The good book tells me to help a brother or sister in need, not to support them for the rest of their lives in a manner they deem to be necessary.

There were some good ideas on both sides of the aisle, but we all know that Libs and Repubs cannot stand to be in the same room and can never reach a consensous on what is best for this Nation. Vote them all out!!!!

Posted by: zendrell | February 26, 2010 11:25 AM

Republicans are selfish. Why we can't have the insurance that they have?

Posted by: cell23 | February 26, 2010 11:28 AM

It was worthwhile to see the Republicans squirm as they refuse to fix medicare and as they continue to deny adequate health care to millions of Americans. They have THEIR socialist health care, but deny it to us.
President Obama was a foot taller and a whole lot wiser than the ditto heads.

Posted by: bozhogg | February 26, 2010 11:29 AM

hey jacques21:
1. It gave us an opportunity to hear republican views..often cut short or out by the Dems and their media friends.
What planet do you live on? Haven't you ever tuned in to Fox "news"?

Posted by: jaroszmm | February 26, 2010 11:30 AM

We should vote all republicans out.

Posted by: cell23 | February 26, 2010 11:46 AM

Everyone agrees that the healthcare system is broken, that many Americans without adequate coverage are suffering, costs are out of control, etc. etc. Everyone agrees that something has to be done to fix our broken system. Yet after a year long debate with many republican proposals incorporated into the bill, the republicans are asking to start over. Why? Their motives appear purely political, selfish, and uncaring. Practically each and every democrat who spoke gave an example of the suffering of real people and the affect that this broken system has on a large segment of Americans. On the other hand, almost all Republicans who spoke never mentioned the real suffering of our people as if it was okay to disregard and prolong their agony indefinitely. It is no wonder they lost the majority and will continue to do so in 2010.

Posted by: Lynne4 | February 26, 2010 11:51 AM

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20.

Does anyone really think 51 Senators will commit political suicide by Rahming through Obomacare?

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 26, 2010 11:53 AM

As I watched the President, I thought about Bush. Can you even imagine him leading a meeting/discussion like this one? OMG!!!! Love him or hate him, Barack is one smart dude. I'll take him any day over the moron who stole two previous elections. Mission Accomplished, my patootie! And John McCain, once a somewhat decent guy, has become a pathetic, pandering fool that even Sarah can't stomach any more.

Posted by: meinschaft | February 26, 2010 11:56 AM

Good for Barack Obama. We elected you, you are our leader. Time for those petty, childish, whining Republicans to work with Democrats or shut the heck up. We are so sick of Republicans whining and complaining about the culture of non-cooperation THEY CREATED. If they were in power, you can bet they wouldn't even try to collaborate. Good for Barack ... thank you to our President.

Posted by: Californian11 | February 26, 2010 12:00 PM

The Republicans are obviously traitors to their nation, their oath of office, and to the people they purport to represent....and the Democrats are little better. What is clearly revealed is the Congress has little point in existing at all and it is essentially a power game for political party cronies to loot the nation and do favours for their friends and their corporate owners. Frankly the whole notion of the existing Congress is broken and useless and should be scrapped completely; the unrepresentative power of Senators without regard to population or any other relevant demographic is essentially; and the irrelevant use of longevity as a means to power is malfeasance at best and stupid beyond measure in actually having a Congressional body with any purpose!

George destroyed the Administrative branch, dumbed down and politicized SCOTUS to unacceptable ideological dogma; and Congress is revealed to be a useless bunch of sycophantic corporate shills; trash this mess and start anew!

Posted by: Chaotician | February 26, 2010 12:08 PM

More tha 100 million privileged Americans have taxpayer-subsidized Health insurance coverage: Congress, Federal employees, Medicare, Medicaid. the VA, the Military, Community Health care centers and the CHIPS program. Add to this about 60 million uninsured and 12-20 million illegals who get their primary care at our Emergency rooms and inpatient facilities. This totals more than 160 million.
The cost for all these citizens above are passed on to the minority insured, all of whom get this tab by rapidly escalating private insurance premiums.
Yet our Government refuses to reduce this burden on the responsible insured citizens by providing a Public plan option affordable to the poor and middle class-thus cutting down significantly those expensive Emergency room visits of the uninsured and illegals.
Nelther Party has shown the political will to push the Public option, but the Republicans just want to leave the present broken, unfair system in place, which is much worse than the present bill.

Posted by: lionelroger | February 26, 2010 12:27 PM

It will have been worthwhile if anything happens going forward. Too soon to tell.

Posted by: IGiveup1 | February 26, 2010 12:31 PM

I think this kind of a summit should have happened much earlier in the process, like last summer.

Posted by: linroy62 | February 26, 2010 12:42 PM

I said I am not sure if the summit helped. The reason I say that is because either you want affordable health care for all Americans or you don't. You can negotiate how to get to that end but that was not happening. It was clear one party was against passing ANYTHING that would be presented that brought the country closer to covering the uninsured. 3 million more insured was not a compromise, it was a ridiculous offer. So, maybe the summit helped those who were confused on the issues but it did not help overcome the political gridlock and grandstanding that has been going on. Remember, this bill is to be the President's "Waterloo". Funny, I don't think the good Senator from South Carolina was present yesterday. Wonder why?

Posted by: ajackson3 | February 26, 2010 12:52 PM

I haven't seen any reaction to Sen. Barasso's suggestion that the only insurance available to anyone should be the high deductible, health savings account variety of insurance. That seemed shocking to me since most folks cannot afford to spend $5,000 on medical care in addition to the cost of their insurance. Then there was the Repub. congressman who wants medicare replaced with a voucher system. Shows the Reps are only concerned with those like themselves, wealthy enouth to not need insurance.

Posted by: Sharon1949 | February 26, 2010 12:55 PM

I'm not sure because while I would have liked to watch the summit, I've been wasting a few productive hours a day haggling with my insurance company over their decision not to pay claims.

Posted by: jaho | February 26, 2010 1:00 PM

Just watching McCain, and thinking the useless, pitiful old fool could have been elected, with Caribou Barbie to give him a quick coronary, gives me the willies. Wow.

Best comment was by Reid, "You are entitled to your own opinion Lamar, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 26, 2010 1:04 PM

Posted by: MC55
It was worthwhile if for no other reasons than to see what a "tool" Eric Cantor is and to be reminded of why John McCain lost the election.
Actually, it was worth while so we could see why so many people regret voting for Obama over McCain. If the election were held today we would be looking at President McCain and Senator Obama.
Could you imagine either Palin or McCain holding this kind meeting. One would have any command of the subject beyond the opening remarks and the wink and the other might drift off in the middle or pound the table in anger as John was want to do from time to time. If GOP offered better candidates the may have one,they did not. If they offer up another slate of right wing conservatives...they may well lose again. Despite what is said most Americans are centrist. They do not want either end of the spectrum right or left to have controls. If you expect a 2010 sweep with uber Conservatives in most states (outside the south and west) you would be wrong.

Posted by: patisok | February 26, 2010 1:11 PM

Calling for term limits is stupid, because a one term dishonest pol can just do for any interest group he wishes to please, as he is not worried about reelection. It's not preferable to a longer number of terms out of an honest person.

People thinking that government can be cleaned up to behave like a NASCAR pit crew watch or CSI investigators watch too much TV.

Just stop electing on an ideological hard right social agenda! That's what keeps the useless Cobourns and McConnells in power. Their NO decisions emanate from their Jesus cult worries of a more modern society.

Lose the social-nazi agenda, put real professional managers like Obama in, and things will be fine. Length of term takes care of itself.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 26, 2010 1:13 PM

Watching Obama yesterday he reminded me of a very small county commissioner that suddenly became chairman. It amazing he continues to ignore the polls regarding health care and thinks he knows best. Voters will again display their anger in November and again in 2012.

Posted by: topgun97365 | February 26, 2010 1:21 PM

At least now we have a President who people are angry with for trying to give us something. That is a giant leap from a President who was only trying to reward the rich who elected him.

Have those folks carrying the signs to keep Obama's hands off Medicare heard the plan to give them vouchers instead of Medicare that the Repubs brought up in the summit?

I wish this had been done last year and we would have healthcare by now.

Posted by: Sharon1949 | February 26, 2010 1:45 PM

The president’s most recent attempt to play well with others is more than mere political kabuki theatre, though that it surely was. The Healthcare Summit was, mainly, a failed attempt by the Obama Administration to put Republican fingerprints on a bill most Americans don’t want. If Democrats force healthcare reform through on a 51% vote, then they own it. It will be interesting to see how enthusiastic the part of “yes we can” will be for festooning their fortunes to this 2000+ page monstrosity.

Posted by: GregMaragos | February 26, 2010 1:46 PM

Bottom line:
Despite Obama's leadership of the Summit, we will at best get a seriously watered down bill.
1) Because Pharmaceutical and Health Insurance Mega Corporations literally own the GOP and Blue Dog Dems.
2) The Beck/Limbaugh/NRA whites have the GOP by the short hairs.
3) The GOP's PRIMARY goal is to ruin Obama no matter what the Nation needs.

Posted by: lufrank1 | February 26, 2010 1:56 PM

Absolutely nothing changed as a result of this summit. The way I see it, those who supported the legislation think the Republicans looked like obstructionists. Those who were against the legislation think the Democrats looked ignorant. Nothing changed. I'm just upset that we spent money on this meeting of the minds. I bet they catered lunch for this nonsense.

Posted by: forgetthis | February 26, 2010 2:07 PM

I enjoyed this health care summit. Obama's ego at times was hard to bear but overall he did an excellent job of moderating a long session. All were very respectful so it was a joy to have our government parts talking and trying to solve our problems. We need more of these exchanges on other subjects. McCain did not contribute but campaigned so I was glad Obama called him on that subject. I voted for McCain.

Posted by: mascmen7 | February 26, 2010 2:09 PM

TIME FOR SERIOUS TALK. It is clear, but they will not say it. The Republicans do not want health care reform that insures most people and helps solve the serious problems we have with this system, AT LEAST NOT TO BE DONE BY THIS PRESIDENT. They're afraid that the money they get from this industry will dry up (IT SHOULD, MAYBE THEN THEY'D BE FREE TO WORK FOR US AND EARN THEIR MONEY).
They don't thinks it's a right so to hell with sick people, old people, laid off people, poor people, pregnant people, people with pre- exisiting conditions etc.. They think is's ok to go to the emergency room for care, don't go at all, and basically be sicker and die, whatever.

What we all must realize is this is not really a political issue. It is a medical, social, ethical, and economical issue due to the American people with respect and dignity. We must move forward, not remain stagnant and behind in improving our systems.

Mr. Obama was elected by over 7 points, that's millions of people over Mr. McCain. I am so happy we have a serious person and team who looks at an entire issue and can see how the elements work and fit together, and who is rational and responsive to the people.

Posted by: marchion1 | February 26, 2010 2:10 PM

Not sure what you mean when you say, "it's over." You mean the Dems inability to pass the bill is over or the GOP standing in the way is over? Not sure how the GOP can be blamed for holding this up. All the House has to do is accept the Senate bill and "it's over." With the huge majority in the House that shouldn't be too much a problem, right? Maybe Obama is referring to the reluctant Dems in the House when he says "it's over." It's absolutely mind boggling that anyone would suggest the GOP is the problem with passing this bill.

Posted by: Atlanta1 | February 26, 2010 2:15 PM

Of course it was useful. It allowed the entire country to see just how spiteful the entire Republican party is. They don't care that people are suffering, going broke due to insane health costs and literally dying.

The Republican party as Rep Weiner said is a wholly owned subsidiarity of the insurance industry. The GOP has their (government run health plan) and spit on the average American.

They are scum of the lowest order.

Posted by: dcp26851 | February 26, 2010 2:19 PM

Amazingly, during the summit, the Republicans openly raised their concerns and arguments with a minimal yet notable amount political rhetoric. The next day, though, more negative sound-bites, more of the same old back-biting, more hypercritical BS which not only reflects but inevitably, negatively contributes to where are country will end up under Republican-dominated leadership.

Be ye democrat or republican, come to the table and have your say. But, stay at the table. Starting over is sophmoric and beneath even the least seasoned Republican.

Frankly, at this point in the healthcare discussion, I hark back to something John McCain said with great conviction during the presidential campaign; spoken succinctly, wisely and well, McCain asserted "Elections have consequences."

Republicans, with respect to health care, upon which our economic recovery and future economic stability depends heavily, it's beyond overtime to cut the BS.

For God's sake, you've been invited and treated in every politically nice way possible to the point of straining civil, reasonable political means.

Elections have consequences: SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT.


Posted by: JohnFinster | February 26, 2010 2:27 PM

It is laughable to hear Republicans warning Democrats how they would lose the next election if the reform bill is passed. Do they not all want to see that happen? If they really believe it, they should help the Democrats pass the bill and take credits, and then lose badly in the next election. Presumably that would be the fastest way for Republicans to win big in the next election

I suspect I has come to the point where many in that room yesterday will take that chance of losing in November if it comes to that . Would it not be better to stand up on principle and really be doing what is right for all Americans. If it comes to it what are you if you sell out your soul for a vote.

I rather see them defeated and get some good legislation passed that will benefit the middle class not the upper 5% that the GOP did during the last 8years.

If people are stupid enough to vote back in to power the GOP the very party that brought us to the edge of catastrope. Then let them, I hope they find out soon that they had no answers 8 years ago and they have none now. They have fear and lies on their side. They will tell you to fear this person or that thing. But will they really have a plan for the middle class to succeed. You will go back to being their tax slaves.

Safety nets for get it. They dont need no stinking saftety nets. No health care .go to ER. NO dental and teeth falling out. Go eat applesauce as your leader Rush would say. Rush, Beck these are the faces of the new GOP These are the leaders. Radio and TV entertainers.

If Dems have the courage to go forward with this bill. And I hope Dems do. They will pay a price with some voters but many those not polled of which there are millions of us.

To me it time to push back hard, push beyond the hate speech, push beyond the talking heads, push for the Real Americans. Yes, us right here. The middle class that have served the uppper class and GOP for decades now.

So how much courage do you have Senators? How much courage to change how HCR gets done in America. Time is now! The Place is now! Go forward and win or lose you will have millions who will admire you. Historians will write about you. And children will read about you in their history book. 21St Century Profiles in Courage.

Posted by: patisok | February 26, 2010 2:36 PM

This MUST pass, the people of the United States desperately need Health Care Reform, including a strong, robust Public Option for more choice and competition. Pass it with Reconciliation, forget the Republicans, forget bipartisanship. The Republicans have shown no desire to help Americans obtain health care, their proposal only extended health care to 3 million people... Did nothing for those of us with pre-existing conditions. Republicans are riding the wave of NO and hurting Americans all the way to November, let's vote them all out, vote Democrats, Independents, or Green.

Posted by: rytyme | February 26, 2010 2:53 PM

While I believe that the Republican party is full of hypocrites and have helped bring the U.S. to a declining empire status, I am among the majority of Americans who support the Republican side in the so-called Health Care Reform debate.

The Democrats want to extend the health care coverage that hard working Americans enjoy to those Americans who don't want to work. There is a large population of Americans who feel entitled to the good life without working for it. Why should insurance companies, and taxpayers, have to pay for those people who want to overeat and not exercise, smoke cigarettes, drink heavily, or do coke, meth, or heroin?

I have voted mostly Democratic for over 40 years. No longer!

Posted by: frazeysburger | February 26, 2010 2:56 PM

Please Mr.Obama, make us all millionaires and print more and more money! The economic logic of the Dems seems to be on par with a 1st grader. The whole debate is a moot point. As Eric Cantor said, "we just can't afford it". But all this from a leader who finds himself in a trillion dollar shortfall and responds with tripling the amount of debt. Let me save you dems the effort of responding to this post. Bush was an idiot! Now do you feel better?

Posted by: steveiev | February 26, 2010 3:02 PM

If 80% of the public is happy with their health care insurance, and the annual per capita cost will be about $7500.00 this year, then 80% of the public is pretty clueless. If, after the last 14 months, you don't know what an overpriced mess the system is, you will never know. So change the channel and go back to American Idol . . .

Posted by: kenhyde | February 26, 2010 3:08 PM

The posters who keep mentioning VA, NJ, Mass need to wake up to the fact that all the new elected Rep's are swimming as fast as they can to the middle of the road..BTW two are Commonwealth's and the other is just common!

Posted by: ohwell1 | February 26, 2010 3:08 PM

Any democrat who isn't with the President doesn't understand the basics about the health care system.

We spend 7200 a year per person on health care - the highest amount of any nation.

That's far more than Italy, France, and Japan - all systems with far better out comes than our own.

Our technology due to government supported research is the best in the world.

In the 70's Nixon decided to introduce the profit factor into the health care equation.

Health care costs skyrocketed.

Our system is rated # 37 in the world so its clear we aren't getting our money's worth.

The GOP is always talking about the Canadian system as what we don't want.

I agree - Canada's system is rated # 33 only four spots ahead of our own.

If you want to compare our system to another countries compare it to the best not a mediocre one.

We are paying for the best let's look at what the best is.

France, Italy, and Japan's are the systems with the best outcomes and offer the most bang for the buck.

Let's copy their best points and go to a single payer system.

Posted by: agapn9 | February 26, 2010 3:11 PM

Reading the comments here, it is clear that Democrats heard what they wanted to hear and Republicans heard what they wanted to hear. Which, of course, is the problem.

Posted by: SouthernerInDC | February 26, 2010 3:14 PM

Reading the comment sections on these types of news articles is just so disheartening. We deserve what we get, and I mean that no matter which side of this you're on.

Posted by: cdat | February 26, 2010 3:49 PM

President Obama comes to the table with the same massive government takeover of health care that the American people have already rejected. In effect, the president’s proposal actually takes the 2,733-page bill that the Senate passed on Christmas Eve and manages to make it worse. Even more Medicare cuts. Even more tax hikes. Plenty of special-interest deals still in place. A trillion-dollar price tag.

This latest Democrats-only backroom deal snuffed out any chance that this summit could serve as the starting point for a bipartisan consensus. Democrats are instead hoping that this media event can be the gateway to a final push that involves circumventing the will of the people and jamming a bill through using parliamentary tricks.

Posted by: fury60 | February 26, 2010 3:50 PM

As Cousin Joe Biden correctly opined, the issues regarding a national health care program is a matter of philosophy: do we, as a society, owe it to folks who either cannot afford, or obtain, reasonably priced health care which meets at least minimum standards or not? If yes, then Congress aught to strive to find a way. If nay, then let the uninsured/underinsured DIE. That is the choice. The problem with our current system is this: IT IS PROFIT DRIVEN!!! From the insurance companies side & from the providers side.If these huge medical facilities that are "for profit" do not make a profit,they are out of business, DITTO, the large medical practices.Mayo Clinics are not "for profit" medical care facilities. They pay their physicians based upon a scale.It makes no difference how many patients or MRI's they order or see. As a result, quality care is the physician's only concern.Why is so hard to get the rest of the country on this track.I also note that Mayo has little, if any, medical malpractice claims.So my conserative folk, if you care for the unborn, REALLY, why not provide for prenatal care.If you really care for granny, Ms. Palin, why not provide her quality care. ME THINKS THAT HYPOCRISY REIGNS.

Posted by: tlrasnicSWVA | February 26, 2010 4:14 PM

I believe the government runs the healthcare for the military. Have you ever seen a military hospital. My father in law was in one in Illinois, they are dirty, men in halls waiting to been seen have been there for hours. The government can't fix this and you want them to give the entire US health care. Please smell the crap your shoveling!

Posted by: bailey50 | February 26, 2010 4:27 PM

Step by step, or is it slowly we move step by step, or is it step by step slowly we move, or is it just trash it I laughed so hard last night...It was better than any comedy hour... these republicans are making themselves look worse and worse by the day... McCain got in a shot for his re election, only Obama shot that down

Posted by: flowymac | February 26, 2010 4:33 PM

please ask youself where your medicare comes from...

Posted by: flowymac | February 26, 2010 4:35 PM

Mr. McCain was made to look like the old man he is.... he did not have a canned response to making a good point. Hopefully, it made one GOP voter, search their conscience and realize there are sick people, who need help. And, the GOP wants them to stay sick, and down the ladder. Just one please. It would be worth it.

Posted by: linda_521 | February 26, 2010 4:49 PM

It was worth it just to see McCain get put in his place.

Posted by: arancia12 | February 26, 2010 4:49 PM

truth is this summit will remind people of healthcare and who did or did not support it...
come november, lots of people will grade their politicians by either keeping them or voting them out...
use your head, vote your consciense...
meanwhile obama is thinking up ways to give away billions and not to any of us...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 26, 2010 5:36 PM

One thing was quite clear after the summit and reading the comments: we need a strong third party in this country. The Democrats and Republicans will never agree on anything, and will keep on destroying, denying and negating anything the other party brings to the table. A good group of intelligent, educated, wise men could make a difference (if only we could convince them to run as independents, or whatever name they choose!) (And no, I am not talking about Nader or Lieberman!- I said "intelligent", remember?)

Posted by: anuchi7 | February 26, 2010 5:36 PM

The summit confirmed my belief that no one over age 70 should be allowed to serve in the Senate. Mandatory retirement age. These old dinosaurs are embarrassing. They need to retire gracefully or be shoved out.

Posted by: dlopata | February 26, 2010 5:58 PM

The Republicans are nothing but obstructionists with no ideas. The summit showed them for what they are.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | February 26, 2010 5:59 PM

It showed how totally INEPT, and utterly USELESS the Republicans in the House and Senate are.

The Republican Party WRECKED this Nation, and they have the Gall to stand in the way of any Progress that will help the Citizens of this Country.

If this was any other Country in the World, they would hunted down and put in CHAINS.

Posted by: austininc4 | February 26, 2010 6:04 PM

Very useful. Convinced me that Obama just hasn't got the Right Stuff.

Posted by: JAH3 | February 26, 2010 6:30 PM

It was useful, and the party dedicated to the failure of the present administration was in full war mode.

I think we should take away Washington's health care and then we would see a big difference.

Washington has no idea what is gong out here. But one thing I keep hearing from the repugs is that America doesn't want health reform. What country are they talking about because everyone I know feels we need it and soon.

Those talking points the repugs are stuck on are so out of touch.

Posted by: lndlouis | February 26, 2010 6:50 PM

If 80% of the public is happy with their insurance -- and 60% of the public has government insurance progams -- then what's the problem with having a public option to offer people? ARe the Repubs are just too selfish too share what they have with us?


. . . and if candy canes shot out your ass you'd never be hungry, but that possibility exists is the same world as your phony numbers!

Posted by: UncomfortableTruths | February 26, 2010 7:40 PM

Republicans deal in death. If you want any thing for a living human being, a Republican can't help you. If, however, you want to slaughter 1.3 million Iraqis to privatize their oil and let bin Laden runnoft, then by all means, call a Grand Oil Party Republican, where the motto is, "I never stole oil from a dead barbarian I didn't like." Have B-52, will travel. Health care from Republicans, how about a bowl of white phosphorous and a daisy-cutter for the kids to kick around on a frosty Easter morning.

Posted by: rhyer | February 26, 2010 8:13 PM

Obama should concentrate on cleaning up the private insurers before taxing us to death to pay for a public option.

Posted by: heatherczerniak | February 26, 2010 8:28 PM

Insurers is a mis-nomer, profiteers is more accurate. Insurance is supposed to spread risk of the few to the many, but our system has the government through medicare and dropped from private coverage medicaid high costs the most costly individuals. It does not take a rocket scientist to know the rate increases have nothing to do with viability but increased profit (their P&Ls tell the story). The congress should really scare them, not with a public option but eminent domain takeover of their employees and facilities. I can guarantee instantaneous rate reductions if it were to be used.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 26, 2010 8:34 PM

Just use the reconciliation procedure and get this passed.


Bye , bye gophers all - in 2010.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | February 26, 2010 8:34 PM

If Obama is so brillant, why does he mispronounce corps,use the reflexive pronoun myself incorrectly,and confuse the words advice and advise? His intelligence is vastly overstated.

Posted by: tsapp77 | February 26, 2010 8:40 PM

Ok, did we watch the same debate? Obama did what he stated he wanted to do, which is to try to find some common ground. The Republican position is clear. They want private market, with little or no reform providing insurance, and yet they say the current market isn't working. They blame it on lack of competition and malpractice. In California we have many insurers, a cap on malpractice awards, and yet we pay more than just about anybody. So I can tell you the Republican laissez faire approach not only won't work but doesn't.

The Democrats are creating a common product, that all insurers can provide if they enter the exchanges that will be open to those who do not have insurance due to pre existing conditions. That 85% of premiums must be spent on health benefits. These are not extreme positions, it just creates a highly competitive market.

Posted by: sarlat | February 26, 2010 8:53 PM

Wish I could say that Republicans were the problem here, but as they are not the ones with a CLEAR majority, they are not. The problem is with the Democrats and leadership abilities. They have not been able to get anything done. It's about leadership.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 26, 2010 8:59 PM

I chose "Not Sure" as my response because the proof is in the pudding, as they say. We'll see if it was worthwhile depending on the subsequent behavior of the participants.

Posted by: greeenmtns | February 26, 2010 9:14 PM

Send those old oligarchs - dinosaurs all - into the vast sands of the great be picked as skeletons..many a morrow away. Pack 'em up!

That is the clarion call of the people.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | February 26, 2010 9:29 PM

Posted by: MC55
It was worthwhile if for no other reasons than to see what a "tool" Eric Cantor is and to be reminded of why John McCain lost the election.
Actually, it was worth while so we could see why so many people regret voting for Obama over McCain. If the election were held today we would be looking at President McCain and Senator Obama.
Posted by: MikeJ9116 | February 26, 2010 10:47 AM
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!You can not be serious? Please, John McCain our country would be in a deep, deep depression and we won't even talk about what the unemployment rate would be. You people can stay in denial all you want but President Obama is the best President we have had since Bill Clinton. You haters are just never going to admit that he has done a wonderful job so far. You all think if you say he is a failure often enough it will happen. Guess what, despite your wishes and prayers that President Obama fails, he will succeed and our country will succeed. and you all will still be whining.HA, HAHahahahaha

Posted by: catmomtx | February 26, 2010 9:36 PM

It is evident that O-"bow"-"Mao" didn't really want any other ideas then his own and the Dim-wit-o-crats. It was clear to any idiot with 1/2 a brain that this was was simply an attempt to trip up the republicans (i.e "I WON!"...plz, what BS already!). What actually happened was that the American people recognized this was a joke designed to make reconciliation more easily digested ('cha?). Make no doubt if they jam this bill down the throat of e-v-e-r-y American they will LOSE MANY SEATS (thank god!) and the annointed one will be out in 4 years. It is truly a shame how this democratically controlled gov't has dismantled our freedom and tried to yank the USA to socialism. Sorry to all the libs out there, but the GOP came out way ahead on this one! On Pelosi, from my 20+ year background in public speaking you can tell that a speaker has no real substance behind what they say by how much they try to distract you from hearing their non-fact based content by the hand motions they use while speaking publicly. "Nanny" looked like she was swatting flies in the heat of August in that "summit"(?). What a joke, the Democrats should be truly ashamed. What abomination they've become!!!! Come November the ones left standing won't be so arrogant. The the leftist handlers must be dumped. I say from a "FORMER" Democrat! AMF!!!! PS - Ban my comments if you will - it just shows how far the United States of America has been dragged down by this administration!!

Posted by: porschekonig | February 26, 2010 9:48 PM

The Democrats want to extend the health care coverage that hard working Americans enjoy to those Americans who don't want to work. There is a large population of Americans who feel entitled to the good life without working for it. Why should insurance companies, and taxpayers, have to pay for those people who want to overeat and not exercise, smoke cigarettes, drink heavily, or do coke, meth, or heroin?
I have voted mostly Democratic for over 40 years. No longer!
Posted by: frazeysburger | February 26, 2010 2:56 PM

You don't have a clue do you? There are millions of hard working people without insurance. Many, many companies DO NOT PAY INSURANCE. Many companies hire temporary employees or hire part time so they don't have to pay benefits. Oh, and when I say benefits besides insurance we are talking sick days, holiday pay, vacations. A lot of people work two or three part time jobs and because they are part time, they don't receive benefits. Many of those uninsured do contract work, professional people creating their own business and don't receive benefits. Perhaps you should take some time and look into who the uninsured actually are before you make stupid comments.

"There is a large population of Americans who feel entitled to the good life without working for it". This is a Republican talking point and lie just to rile up you gullible righteous people. They have been using it for years and it works every time. You again don't have a clue as to what it takes to receive those government benefits. Again, get a clue. President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress put an end to those people feeling entitled to live off your tax dollars. It was called Welfare Reform. By the way, I am a Social Worker who works with people over 60 and I see more of them calling up asking for what they are "entitled to" and believe me they aren't all people who live in the ghetto. There are just as many of them trying to save their money and big beautiful suburban homes for their kids who won't help them.

Posted by: catmomtx | February 26, 2010 10:00 PM

LDDOYLE2002 ~ I have absolutely no obligation, moral or legal, to share anything I have with you.

You and I don't even share in being members of the same species.

Posted by: muawiyah | February 26, 2010 10:11 PM

Will it help in developing a bi-partisan solution? No way. Did it help to show politicians for what they were? Yes. Was it worth doing just to show what an idiot Cantor is? You Betcha!!!

Posted by: seegeedubya | February 26, 2010 10:22 PM

Posted by: MC55
It was worthwhile if for no other reasons than to see what a "tool" Eric Cantor is and to be reminded of why John McCain lost the election.
Actually, it was worth while so we could see why so many people regret voting for Obama over McCain. If the election were held today we would be looking at President McCain and Senator Obama.
Posted by: MikeJ9116

THAT would just be YOU and your Birchers, Teabuggers, Neocons, Phalins..

Love it when you feel you own pain..


Posted by: Issa1 | February 26, 2010 11:07 PM

All the right wing hack idiots here are frothing at the mouth with the usual nonsense about how "hard working Americans" shouldn't have to pay for a lazy, fat, cigarette smoker's health insurance as though THAT is what this bill is intended for.

All it takes is ONE pre-existing condition and guess what? YOU don't have health insurance unless you're in a large group and NEVER change jobs. They say nothing about the 25-39% rate increases announced by the insurance industry, nor any of that stuff. They just drivel on and on with their "socialist" crap and how they hate "tax and spend" liberals.

Well, I probably spend more in tips than these bozos pay in taxes. They follow idiots like "Joe the plumber" who isn't even a plumber, and like any brain dead loud mouth, they never offer solutions, they just create problems for those who do.

You hate this country so much that you want to seceed from the union, why not just leave and take your silly friends with you? YOU'RE the lazy ones! Anyone who takes an active interest in the welfare of their country and fellow citizens is worthwhile even if their ideas are the wrong ones. Those who just complain about the solutions others propose, but don't offer any themselves are just useless terds that should be flushed with the rest of the feces in the land.

Posted by: abigsam | February 26, 2010 11:49 PM

This is not about health insurance. This is to tax one group of citizens, make those with insurance pay more for their premiums (through taxes on medical devices and drug companies which WILL be passed on to the current insured) so that 30 million uninsured (a large number of these may well be school drop outs) will get free health insurance. This is transfer of money from hard working Americans to others who can't hold jobs in their prime of their life and need one more entitlement. This is also about the government playing an ever larger role in our lives. Government deciding if a particular treatment should be covered or not. $900 billion to provide free insurance to 30 million is that "reform? Will I be asked to now pay extra so some one can buy house insurance, what about charging those who have cable TV to pay extra for those who don't? Pretty soon, there will be no one left to pay ever more taxes and fees to support the ever growing federal spending. I donated money for a democratic candidate last election. I could not stand Palin. This time, should they ram through the health bill, I will spend like I have never spent to vote out those who vote for the bill. This will be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Posted by: upnorth | February 26, 2010 11:50 PM

hey upnorth:

You lie. The bill isn't about PAYING for health insurance for 30 million people you idiot! It's about MAKING AVAILABLE health insurance to 30 million people who in turn will pay for it themselves. Yes, there's a provision to subsidise SOME of that 30 million, but a small portion.

If you want to spend your money on useless politicians, go ahead, but get your facts (and your mouth) straight first.

Posted by: abigsam | February 26, 2010 11:56 PM

Just as I thought, it was another photo op for our King. Talk about an arrogant SOB. The sooner we can get rid of him the better.

Posted by: GordonShumway | February 27, 2010 12:12 AM

The Summit was a setup to ram through the illegal and unconstitutional healthcare walking Zombie, nothing more, nothing less.

For the good of America let us hope this Fail Whales!

Posted by: JuicyJuice | February 27, 2010 12:44 AM

Hey ABigSam (really?),

Your last comment was spoken like a true progressive libertard. You cannot honesty support a viable argument with real facts so you attack the person with "you lie" and "you idiot". Just say "Jane you ignorant slut" because that is all you really have to offer. "Pay for it themselves"? Are f'in kidding me?? Pompous democratic rhetoric such as this has ruined the party. You try to school the rest of us mainstream "idiots", that is, fellow Americans that don't agree with your twisted and irrevocably misled left of center point of view, without even considering another point of view. Hmmm... it's so simple isn't it? Lets just "MAKE AVAILABLE" health care for all who cannot afford it, put our fuzzy sweaters and Birkenstocks on and just go to Starbucks and feel good about ourselves. It will cost TRILLIONS of dollars in TAXPAYERS money which is indeed a very dangerous experiment in these times. I suggest that YOU get your facts straight or go back to the Inquirer crossword. I'll further use your style of debate so it may sink in, start by first pushing on your thighs thus dislodging your head from your anus and see reality without the distortion of your party-centric haze then, just maybe, you will be illuminated. Ok, so that being said, who's up for a double frappichino?

Posted by: porschekonigAgain | February 27, 2010 12:47 AM

The viewing and study of venality and hypocrisy has rarely been illustrated as well. This course is a prerequisite for a PHD in politics.

Posted by: alf1052 | February 27, 2010 1:19 AM

The health care summit clarified things for me. (1) I now know the republicans are lying when they said that the DEM's reform plan will increase my premiums (2) The Republicans do not care about health care reform hence their chant about starting health care reform debate from the scratch after one year of debating the issue.
(3) The time for talking is over. We need action from the Democrats.

Posted by: oraukwu | February 27, 2010 1:39 AM

Hey porschekonigAgain:

My assertions stand. You are an idiot and you do lie. Read the damn bill. It's designed to lower costs and open up the opportunity to PURCHASE health insurance to those who are blocked from it now due to the things I mentioned.

So stick your right wing born again idiot "libtard" crap up your bumkin fat posterior.

Posted by: abigsam | February 27, 2010 2:44 AM

I really am at a loss. The sick are dying when we can do something about it, and we care about cost of the program (What family values) and about stopping Stem Cell Research in the name of violeting choice of an unborn. We fight what is portraied as unjust war, bring a surplus back to where it was. we methodically continue to spread our empire (at least until a new adversary challenges that effort) and worry about the cost of saving citizen's lives. We fraudently let economic system throw us into job losses, and recovery is measured in terms of dividends payed to investors (The Stock Market Performance for the rich - who will diligently shift their investments abroad and shout patriotism when someone voices unjust practices - what a patriotism of the rich). we the economically challenged must be a mushroom plantation because they keep us in dark and give us you know what.

Posted by: aadeebandoo | February 27, 2010 2:49 AM

The issue is far, far simpler than it appears. At the onset of this argument, Obama told us that double billings and jackpot medical law suits accounted for a huge amount of the problems with Medicare. As a retired geek that dealt with the Federal Governments computer system, I know for a fact that the double billing probably is a major problem. Per the jackpot medical law suits, we all seem them, and know they are wrong, and not one thing has been done to control, or deal with problems related to tort reform. Fix those two items, and then turn to the rest of the problems, and the issues the Obama administration wants to confront would gain a great deal of credibility. But until that happens, we are getting the same ol' same ol' with scare tactics, and not a bit of hard love attacks on the problems.

Sooo... do we care what the Obama Administration wants. Not really. It would be nice to get the silver stake in the heart of that obscene medical bill and move on to issues that lie on the desk waiting for solutions. But so long as the Democrats have a majority of the reps in Congress, they can simply say they won't do anything to deal with the rest of the problems of this nation... and make it stick.

Soon there will be an election. Soon this constipation will end. And at the same time I say that, I don't trust the Republican Party one bit more.

How about Cafferty of CNN for President on an independent ticket? That would break the tyranny of the majority on both sides of the isle and Cafferty is making a lot of sense.

Posted by: joelwisch | February 27, 2010 5:31 AM

I can't believe what I heard from Obama when he said that the transparency was only for the campaign and not for now.
I'm sorry that people believed him. Sorry for all of us for having a president who can't keep his promise. He is a real politician.

Posted by: lilibrooks1 | February 27, 2010 5:47 AM

Obama blames the republican but he had 51 vote to pass the health care bill if the democrats wanted to but they did not. You can pass the bill by 51 vote but he did not have the support of his own party. He cont. to blame the republican.

Posted by: lilibrooks1 | February 27, 2010 5:50 AM

What is wrong with you republicans????????? You have insurance that you DO NOT have to pay for. Every year my copay goes up, well I DO NOT get a raise every year. As a matter of fact I don't know if I will ever get another pay increase. But they darn sure will increase my copay. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, I'm down on my knees begging PLEASE if nothing else set a limit on what we should be paying for health care.

Posted by: jsreimer | February 27, 2010 6:59 AM

Who, in their right mind, will perpetuate a piece of legislation without knowing the cost? CBO has indicated they cannot score OBAMACARE. Are we not in debt enough without further obligating our nation to debt when we do not even know the total amount?


Obama is moving fastly from showing signs of INEXPERIENCE to being totally DANGEROUS!

Posted by: wheeljc | February 27, 2010 7:01 AM

This is not health care reform, this is incumbents and a president trying to force feed something the majority does not want. otherwise there would not be all of this bickering. We the American people are not as stupid as you think Mr. Obama. Reforming the system does not require money, it requires thinking and listening. Change is good, this type of change is nothing more than spending my money in all the wrong places.

Posted by: PBJester | February 27, 2010 7:04 AM

"It is laughable to hear Republicans warning Democrats how they would lose the next election if the reform bill is passed. Do they not all want to see that happen? If they really believe it, they should help the Democrats pass the bill and take credits, and then lose badly in the next election. Presumably that would be the fastest way for Republicans to win big in the next election.
Posted by: wohoho | February 26, 2010 10:57 AM"

so you want a bill passed that would tax you for 3 or 4 years before you see any benefits...
you would want a bill passed that would raise your rates...
you would want a bill passed that would mess up the health insurance of 80% of the country...
would you...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 27, 2010 7:12 AM

There were two conversations during the health care summit.

One conversation from the right, repeating talking points with childish comparisons eluding that facts before them and....

The second conversation on the left continually reminding the minority why they are there and spanking them for not doing your homework before the exam.

This country should really considerate on the Republicans inability to help solve tough issues facing our people and not corporations.

I found the president to be in command of the issue of health care and the GOP looking like school kid trying to figure out simple math.

The GOP Trolls blogging here are nothing more than "talking points" that are pointless and are in the minority of the education curve attempting to "somehow" confuse you with name calling.

It is nothing more than their own uneducated fear that impedes them.

There was one comment on this blog that does intrigue this debate and that was:

if this health care bill is passes, the Democrats will lose control of the House and Senate.

OK then! Here's your chance! Help them pass it.

The real fear is, if it passes, the majority of Americans that elected President Obama and Congress into power will remain in power.

Let's test the results, shall we.....

Posted by: rbraun2000 | February 27, 2010 7:24 AM

At the end of day, we are no further along in this exercise than we were at the beginning of the day. WE CAN'T AFFORD OBAMACARE! The single best thing they could do was put Sen. Coburn and Rep. Ryan in a room together - work out a plan to contain the cost of private healthcare insurance - marry it with Ryan's Road Map of means testing for Medicare and his voucher proposal for Medicaid - and then implement it before this nation goes broke.

Progressives in this nation need to look at the real condition of our citizens - NO ONE is living in abject poverty, they are living in relative poverty, and EVERY ONE has access to health care in an emergency. It's a cruel world - and we are the lucky ones in this nation. We live a higher quality of life than any other nation in the history of this planet. As heart-breaking as the tales of President Obama's mother story of dying of cancer, there are any number of billions of peoples mothers who death and lack of access to health care in this world is far more heart breaking.

This nation had better start living within its means - or that quality of life our children will inherit will have depreciated markedly.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 27, 2010 7:53 AM

This will not help unless there is some special interest group or big business that will line there pocket or somehow ensure they will get into office again. None of our representatives seem to represent anything but themselves.

Posted by: etrain364 | February 27, 2010 7:58 AM

Congress has always been about 'back room' deals, and there is no way these folks can work in the 'light' of exposure. Nothing will ever get done. Throw them all out!

Posted by: mjbutcher | February 27, 2010 8:42 AM

Isn't it perfectly definitive of the cynicism of the republican party that they quote only those polls that ask overly generalized questions concerning health care. But, the one poll they studiously avoid is the one poll that is specific and consistent--the one that always shows that public by overwhelming majorities want a public option.

And it isn't just the republicans. The media also treat polls on the public option--or the polls that President Obama referred to indicating that when asked about specific portions of the Health Care bill rather than the overly general way the media prefers, they tend to support it--as if they had HIV attached to them.

Posted by: jaxas70 | February 27, 2010 9:24 AM


Posted by: EagleFan1 | February 27, 2010 9:43 AM

The "Summit" was very enlightening for me. First, it proved, we have a skilled and confident president willing to take on any challenge. The country needs a strong leader at this time. And secondly, it showed how the Republicans are hobbled by their own "talking points" unable to ever break out with open dialogue. America as I once knew it, the country for the people is now the country for the corporations and our elected officials are their prisoners!

Posted by: twistbar67 | February 27, 2010 9:56 AM

The summit was a great event for the Obama administration. It made clear that Republicans do not believe that health care insurance for all is a right. Therefore they are not focused on that goal. The public got to see a clear difference in positions. That was all that was needed.

Posted by: 12345leavemealone | February 27, 2010 10:17 AM

For the record, Bailey50 your assessment of military hospitals is WAY off the mark. My job calls for me (no I'm not a government employee) to visit military and VA hospitals. I have never seen anything like you describe. You need to check out some non-govt city hospitals before you say anything about military hospitals. Military and VA hospitals can hold their own against any non-profit hospital in the country.

Posted by: deltadelta | February 27, 2010 10:50 AM

My problem: with this "summit" is when the rhetoric does not match the performance just what do you believe. There are two points that rise above the dim of this summit. One, the democrats now admit that the republicans did in fact offer ideas and implicitly admitted that at least Reid and Pelosi exaggerate at the least and/or lie at the worst. Two Obama's performance reminds me of the philosophical question "when do you know when a liar is telling the truth?". Just as when I was a college freshman, I was perplexed by the question, so am I perplexed by Obama. But reality is that he is a mixed bag of hyperbole (same as hot air) and performance. My real questions: are Obama's, Pelosi's, and Reid's partisan performance the result of a) incompetence, b) inexperience, or c) both; and can we wait for this administration and the democratic leadership to "grow" to the task? I am quickly concluding that the answer to the first is a resounding YES and NO to the second.

Posted by: fcrucian | February 27, 2010 10:52 AM

The summit was an attempt by Obama to crystallize the difference between action and inaction. Not sure it worked since we are learning that the great communicator does not seem to be as able to sell his ideas as effectively as the Republicans who simply twist and lie over and over again until their message grabs hold. For instance, there are still large percentages of the electorate who believe 9-11 was the work of Sadaam, that Obama is from Kenya and/or is a Muslim, and that Americans received a tax hike in '09. It's time for the Democrats to start passing legislation for which they were elected because they're inevitably going to lose ground in November with their bumbling handling of the message anyway.

Posted by: mikeh3 | February 27, 2010 10:58 AM

Medicare is not an entitlement. Unless you have paid for it through involuntary contributions to the program from wages you have earned you do not get to have Medicare. I became eligible for Medicare when I turned 65 years old in February 2009. When I retired in February this year Medicare became my primary Health insurance. In addition to Medicare I have a GAP policy that covers certain things that Medicare does not cover. I have paid into the Medicare program from when it first began in July 1965. It was money I earned. I am not getting any medical coverage from the government that I have not already paid for in advance since 1965. That is 45 years of paying.
I do not want the government to cut 500 billion dollars from the program. I do not believe the cuts are coming from cracking down on fraud and abuse. If that were the case and they knew where the fraud and abuse was you should do it immediately with existing laws and then find who was responsible for not cracking down on fraud and abuse since the program began, and if they are still alive, and prosecute them for dereliction of government duty.
Leave the program alone and give us a running list, beginning 2009 of who you caught and prosecuted for either fraud or abuse and how much they stole so we can be sure the money saved to pay for the health bill proposed by Obama is real.

Posted by: nychap44 | February 27, 2010 11:16 AM

I thought the summit was fabulous and accomplished exactly what was needed. The gridlock and it's source was there for all the world to see. The Democrats believe in a social contract that protects all citizens while the Republicans believe in nothing of the sort. The Republicans aren't interested in bipartisanship and after 8 long years of a Republican Adminstration that helped destroy this country; and the last year of obstructivism; they certainly aren't interested in safe affordable health care for the masses. I think it's time, PAST TIME, for reconciliation. The speculation that Democrats will "own" it and therefore fall before it in the next elections is a fallacy. Try to wrest assured medical care from any other westernized country that provides for their entire population and you would see mass riot. People in those countries recognize and respect their national social contracts and would never give them up even with higher taxes and such. So by all means OWN IT Democrats. Republican recalitrance clearly showed that Republicans don't give a cr*p about the 4,000 odd people who die each day due to lack of health insurance to say nothing of the suffering preceding those deaths and the economic devestation they wreak on American households. Or what about the INSURED households who experience extreme medical tragedy and are left holding the bag on thousands and thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical bills? Peoples lives are being destroyed while Congress twiddles it's collective thumbs. START AGAIN is just another delaying tactic Republicans are using to fully avoid any change at all. Own it Democrats and watch as history records a grateful nation.

Posted by: steph6841 | February 27, 2010 11:23 AM

There's nothing wrong with our health care system now, after looking at what they are really proposing. Heck the people who have no jobs, collect welfare, WIC, food stamps, free cell phones, subsidized housing, food banks, LIHEAP and all the other goodies have the best insurance in the world. Co pays not them. I don't know what the answer is but I am sick of the free loaders, no wonder social security is in trouble. Everyones getting it!

Posted by: jjohnson7 | March 2, 2010 2:17 PM

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