Health Care Summit

Thursday President Obama brought together members of the House and Senate for a Health Care Summit.

Some of the invited Republicans made good points.  These points were recognized by the President, and many were agree upon.  Most of the Republicans simply reiterated their talking points, over and over and over again.  This unfortunately framed the Republican position as not being willing to compromise on any level and that their only motivation was to kill any reform.

The invited Democrats mostly exhibited a moderate tone, which framed the Democratic position as willing to compromise in the effort to achieve some reform.

The President appeared as the grownup in the room.

Prior to the Health Care Summit , many members of the right feared that this was a “setup,” a “trap” that would make them look foolish, much as it did when the President went to the House Republican Retreat in January.  They were correct.  However it was not the President that made them look foolish.  They did it themselves.



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89 responses to “Health Care Summit

  1. Morning peeps.

    “However it was not the President that made them look foolish. They did it themselves.”

    So true, so very true!

  2. MSNBC is reporting Paterson isn’t going to seek re-election.

  3. 20 inches of snow so far and still coming down!

  4. d I think you’re wrong, I don’t think the WH “invited” the GOP members, I think they picked who would attend.

  5. TempeBev

    I just received this from an acquaintance. Is this for real or just publicity?

    Finally, some good news to act on!!.
    On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a
    Two-page amendment that would require all Members and their staffs to
    Enroll in any new government-run health plan..
    It took me less than a minute to sign up to require our congressmen
    And senators to drink at the same trough!
    Three cheers for Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana !
    Congressman John Fleming ( Louisiana physician) has proposed an
    Amendment that would require congressmen and senators to take the same
    Healthcare plan they force on us (under proposed legislation they are
    Curiously exempt).

    Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go on his Website and Sign
    His petition (very simple – just email).
    I have just done just that at:

    Please urge as many people as you can to do the same!
    If Congress forces this on the American people, the Congress should
    Have to accept the same level of health care for themselves and their
    To do otherwise is the height of hypocrisy!
    Please pass this on!!.

    • dnd

      Just publicity. Fleming is a Republican.

      Key phrases:
      “Amendment that would require congressmen and senators to take the same
      Healthcare plan they force on us (under proposed legislation they are
      Curiously exempt).”

      1. Proposed plans don’t “force” anything on anybody.
      2. Congress critters are not “curiously exempt.” See (1).

      This may all backfire on Fleming if the “public option” is allowing all to buy into the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. The same plan that Fleming, his family, and all congress critters enjoy.

  6. dog's eye view

    Relieved to see Paterson will not seek election. There has GOT to be a better candidate!

    Brian: how are you feeling?

    LATimes seemed to provide on-target reporting on the health summit, and an op ed encouraging Democrats to go for it on their own.

    I was pleased to see gentle pushback yesterday on CBS morning show: Harry Smith rejoinder to Eric Cantor’s claim that Americans did not like the president’s health plan: “but they want something done.” And then to commercial, no time for Cantor rebuttal.

  7. dog's eye view

    Steve Pearlstein in today’s WaPost, one of the few adults left at that sad paper. He’s their business columnist:

    “The most important thing Republicans think is that if there are Americans who can’t afford the insurance policies that private insurers are willing to offer, then that’s their problem — there’s nothing the government or the rest of us should do about it.

    … That was their clear message Thursday. It was their message during all those years when their party controlled Congress and the White House and they did nothing and said nothing about the plight of the uninsured. And it is clear that they would continue to do nothing if, by some miracle, Democrats were to drop their plan or embark on a more modest approach. For Republicans, the uninsured remain invisible Americans, out of sight and out of mind.

    Judging from Thursday’s discussion, Republicans have much more sympathy for those who can afford to buy health insurance but are denied because of a preexisting medical condition. They oppose Democratic efforts to end this industry practice directly through regulation, preferring instead to refer those customers to special high-risk insurance pools where they would be guaranteed to find coverage.

    In some versions of the high-risk pool, the cost of a policy would be so high that households with average incomes would have to set aside a third or even half of their income to pay for it. It takes a Republican to view this as a solution — the equivalent of giving a starving man a coupon for $2 off his next dinner at Le Bernardin.”

  8. tonyb39

    Hello all,
    Glad to see your doing good! Damn, what a tough one you are.Hope your pain is manageable..

    Now about the healthcare summit,the Republicans are assholes,Cantor is a slimy punk.The President sure put him and McCain in their place.Well, its all up to the Dems now.I say, put the Houses Public Option in the Presidents bill and pass it with 51 votes..

  9. TempeBev

    Thank you dnd!

  10. Yeah I’m the tough one indeed! LOL

  11. MadMustard

    “The President appeared as the grownup in the room.”

    This seems to always be the case on any discussion; it’s to bad that he is usually the only one. 

    I’m not sure which groups I tire of most; the Hillary supporters that criticize that somehow, magically, she would have been tougher and gotten better results or the shills of the special interests whose inerests are visibally manifest.

    The tough truth is that more tragedies are necessary to prompt any real reform. Unfortunately, some of our ‘redder’ brothers must feel the sting of the Nation’s collective inaction.  What will their consolation be then?

    I suspect political points will seem very hollow indeed.      

  12. tonyb39

    “the Hillary supporters that criticize that somehow, magically, she would have been tougher and gotten better results”

    Funny,something we will never know.Hillary is tough though,love her…

  13. tonyb39

    “Clueless in Kentucky ”

    “Senator Bunning once cared about the unemployed. When the benefit was due to expire in November, he joined a unanimous vote to extend it until the end of February. “Kentucky has been hit hard by the current economic downturn,” he said at the time. It still is, but Mr. Bunning refused to consider the extension unless it was paid for with funds from the fiscal stimulus plan. For years, Mr. Bunning didn’t seem to have a problem with blowing up the deficit for the Iraq war and tax cuts. Now he’s a deficit hawk when it comes to average Americans.”

  14. nannymm

    This Hillary fan takes offense. She is strong and smart and would have done a great job as President just as she is doing as SOS. There really is no need to bash her or her supporters. As Barack said, “we’re not campaigning anymore.”

  15. MadMustard

    Now… now.  

    My criticism was for her more rabid supporters who choose to use any issue as an excuse to re-run the 2008 primaries.  Read Craig’s blog for evidence.  It’s a daily dose.  

    Take offense if you wish, you will hear no more of this from me…  This is the first and last time.  But be assured, I’ll   point out instances when it occurs here.       

  16. nannymm

    What Do Americans Think of the ‘Reconciliation’ Option?

    “…a new set of Research2000 polls commissioned by a liberal group, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee, shows voters in a set of swing states decidedly in support of using reconciliation.

    In Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington, respondents all said they favor using reconciliation to pass health care (list of results here), and some of the margins were stunning: in Iowa, for instance, respondents supported using reconciliation 66% to 29%.

    North Dakota, in fact, was the least supportive of using reconciliation, among those states, and respondents there supported reconciliation 53% to 36%. 600 “likely voters” were interviewed in each state, with a margin of error of +/- 4%.”

  17. tonyb39

    “Read Craig’s blog for evidence. It’s a daily dose.”

    What rubbish! Its you who are choosing to see any criticism(holding his feet to the fire) of the President as a re-run of the 2008 primaries.

  18. dog's eye view

    Read Craig’s blog? No thank you.

    But delightful to see TonyB here — welcome.

    PBS Newshour Friday had excellent item on use of reconciliation.

    17 of the 22 bills passed under reconciliation were advanced by GOP presidents and/or GOP congress. This is not a method the GOP has been reluctant to use previously, and the GOP was down with it for passing two sets of W’s tax cuts, in 2003 during wartime.

    Reconciliation was used for COBRA in 1986; Clinton used it for SCHIP and welfare reform (PBS: “a cornerstone of the Republicans’ Contract with America.”)

    17 of 22! Sauce for the goose.

    Highly recommend the PBS transcript — it’s short and verrry interesting.

    PS: Mad: I am tired of the sniping at Obama too. It happens more than is admitted.

  19. tonyb39

    Hi Dog,
    I know your loving California,especially this time of year..

  20. dog's eye view

    Hi Tony. Cannot discuss re TMix one way or another, as there is no benefit to visiting a blog which banned one, unfairly, I might add. I don’t care what goes on there, although I retain affection for — actually, many of the community.

    But a lot of the attacks on Obama have been outright appalling (to me) because they do not take into account the parameters he faces: an oppositional GOP that won’t put the country’s interest first, spineless, feckless, careerist Democrats — never mind the “moderate GOP” and centrists of either party, and a media that is so clueless you can be forgiven for wondering if it’s on purpose. I think the American public — its thinking members of any political stripe — realize it’s going to take years upon years to get out of the ditch.

    Yes, Obama has disappointed me on a few occasions. But he’s impressed me on many, many more. He got a LOT done his first year, under unprecedented conditions.

    It’s fine to criticize any public official, and they all deserve it at one time or another.

    I am way more disappointed in Olympia Snowe (whom I have admired for years; she’s usually a very good public servant) and some Democratic congresscritters than I will ever be in Obama.

    But seeing the hand-wringing on the blogs over the best president we will ever get, in the worst of times — no thank you.

    Another PBS Newshour item that cheered me this week: a report on the millennials.

    They aren’t as parochial as their forebears. Room for hope. We need to harness their energy and their voices. They can’t sit out the midterms.

  21. “I am way more disappointed in Olympia Snowe”

    Amen sister!

  22. dog's eye view

    Tony: I do LOVE California. It’s spectacular. We had a gullywashing rain last night; today it’s bright and sunny. (I was hoping for more rain, since have loads of housework to do.)

    Waiting to hear more on Chile. I am hoping they’ve got reinforced buildings, given the 1960s megaquake.

    Don’t have cable TV; delighted to be missing disaster porn on CNN, etc. (“Robinson Caruso” islands. Priceless.)

    • dnd

      CNN is doing a good job of of covering the quake. They have geophysicists explaining what happened and what is happening and they had a professor explain how tsunami’s work and why those warnings are critical.

      This 8.8 quake something like 500 times stronger than the 7.0 that hit Haiti.

  23. dog's eye view

    Brian: good morning. Hoping you are on the mend, and comfortable.

  24. tonyb39

    Hi Dog,
    Very good comment!I’m sorry the whole thing at TM happened.The comments you would bring to any blog are valuable.I appreciate your comments regarding the President.Yep,some of the criticism the President has faced has been undeserved given the problems he inherited from Bush.I’m very critical of the President, as many Progressives are,but i believe at the end of the day it will make him a better President.California is a great place to live,glad you like it..

  25. dog's eye view

    Wishing you well in Florida (watch out for those orcas), and our New Yorkers and desert dwellers and Rockies fans and Texans, and … everyone well, really.

    You can’t miss that California’s having a budget meltdown.

    Many public services closed Friday; reduced library hours throughout the week and weekend, DMV computers even more problematic — guess is reduced tech upkeep. Got my California license plates and interested to see that you only get a year/month decal for the back plate — that’s a significant saving with millions of drivers.

    Teacher layoffs — in some communities, teachers with 5 and more years of experience got cut. (One guy told me he just missed the cut, with 8 years of service.) Meeting LOTS of unemployed people chilling amidst the state’s natural beauty. Met a school janitor who lost his job — the state benefits are generous enough that he’s enjoying the time with his kids while awaiting an upturn.

    Took into account the possible coming of a Depression when moved here — yes, the state’s broke, but there’s lots you can do that doesn’t take $$ and no enormous heating bills.

  26. On the mend thanks, sore as hell

  27. nannymm

    Tony, I agree with you that many of the criticisms of Obama are unwarranted but that others are well deserved. He’s human; he makes mistakes. Like you, I will continue to praise him when he deserves it and criticize him when I believe he is wrong. Isn’t that what we all should do as good citizens? Blindly worshiping any politician is insanity.
    As for rabid supporters, Hillary certainly has some. But so does Obama. In both cases, they’re on the fringes and should be marginalized. Neither group cares about politics and policy; their cults of personality and nothing more.

  28. nannymm

    That should be, “they’re cults of personality…” not “their.”

  29. nannymm

    Dnd, I’m very impressed with CNN’s coverage today. They’re actually educating people.

  30. tonyb39

    Hi Nanny,
    Good comment also and I agree completely! If only there were blogs when the Clinton’s were in power,you would have heard me screaming plenty.NAFTA, one of the worst things to ever happen to this country,what were you thinking Bill??Blogs are one of the best things the every day citizen has to help keep the politicians somewhat honest!

  31. yeah but who keeps the bloggers honest?

  32. tonyb39

    Good point, MR Brian

  33. The SOS flies in a 737, as does the VP and other high ranking govt. officials. Gulf Stream?

  34. nannymm

    D, I believe Hillary was scheduled to visit Santiago on Tuesday. Some coincidence, huh?

  35. My mistake, it’s a 757, not 737

    The Secretary’s plane is a reconfigured U.S. Air Force Boeing 757 that is outfitted with a cabin for the Secretary, seats for the staff, and security and a communications section for continuous information anywhere in the world.

  36. nannymm

    Who keeps the bloggers honest?
    Other bloggers. We have to self-police. For the most part, it works. Only the fringes and idiots accept what they read on blogs (or anywhere else, for that matter) without seeking more info and confirmation elsewhere.

  37. dog's eye view

    Agree with Nanny on bloggers self-policing, but it’s a mixed bag.

    For the most part, I think other bloggers call out those not telling the whole story or actively misrepresenting. But one has to read a lot of sources, and not sure how much time the average American devotes to that.


    Pleasant surprise to hear CNN is doing a good job reporting.

    (Neighbors are already phoning each other here; we’re in a tsunami zone.)


    It’s been so nice to chat in real time today!

  38. nannymm

    Stay safe out there, Dog’s Eye. Not a good day for the beach.

  39. I’m waiting for the report of the first schmuck surfer who gets dragged out to sea.

  40. nannymm

    There’ll be at least one, Brian. That’s a given.

  41. TempeBev

    I have a problem which may make me sound like a bitch, but I fully acknowledge can be true at times.

    I have sympathy for the people of Haiti and now the people of Chile. I have donated money for the recovery efforts and will probably do the same for Chile.

    The United State is almost always first in line to offer help to other countries when disaster hits, which is as it should be. The US is a very giving nation and the rest of the world looks to us for help.

    My problem which really pisses me off is that our government doesn’t seems to care about their own when disaster hits its own citizens-education, health, jobs, etc. We are all aware of what is going on in Congress. When will they start to care about our own? One minor example is the asshole from KY who is holding up unemployment benefits for the entire US because he can. The repugs all brag about the “best medical care” in the world is here in the US but won’t help provide coverage.

    When do we start taking care of our own who need help?

  42. nannymm

    If that makes you a bitch, Bev, then you have company because I wonder about the same damned thing. We have the USS Comfort giving medical care to Haitians. That’s wonderful! But why don’t we ever sail that ship into cities along our coasts and provide free care to those who so desperately need it? Why aren’t we distributing tents, sleeping bags, and MRE’s to our homeless populations?
    I don’t begrudge anyone the aid we provide to them. I’m all for giving MORE aid around the world. But I think it’s time we start doing the same for our own as well.
    So, there. We’re both bitches. But we’re beautiful, smart, and compassionate ones. 🙂

  43. TempeBev

    Thanks for the company, Nanny!

  44. nannymm

    It’s a pleasure, Bev. 🙂

  45. nannymm

    We really do reap what we sow.

    Ahmed Chalabi’s renewed influence in Iraq concerns U.S.

  46. tonyb39

    “Edwards epilogue: Does the press really vet presidential candidates?”

    “The revelations about Edwards, contained in two best-selling books, have undermined one of the favorite conceits of political journalism, that the intensive scrutiny given candidates by reporters during a presidential campaign is an excellent filter to determine who is fit for the White House.

    While the media “usually does well” in vetting candidates, said presidential historian Michael Beschloss, “Edwards is a good case” in which it didn’t.”

  47. tonyb39

    “Eleanor Clift
    Be Careful What You Wish For

    Republicans are giddy about the prospect of returning to power in Congress. But Obama’s first year offers a cautionary tale.”

  48. dog's eye view

    Clift: “The White House didn’t do enough to connect the dots between health-care reform and economic security …”

    True that. I could never understand why your rank and file Democrat was not making the case that we are facing a JOBless recovery, that most Americans’ healthcare is tied to their JOBs [until they reach 65], and that Americans would likely develop more new businesses and JOBs were they not tied to their present employer by healthcare. Also that people were losing their JOBs, not to mention investments and retirement savings, due to Bush and Republicans’ failed governance.

    I wonder if Obama et al did not make the case more forcefully at the outset because they were still looking at a potential double-dip recession/depression, and didn’t want to scare Americans even more, if they focused on JOB instability.

    This is not to excusify for Obama — I regret that he didn’t communicate more forcefully or realize the hash Congress could make of reform, allies and opponents.

  49. dog's eye view

    NYTimes: “The Cost of Doing Nothing on Healthcare” in today’s Week in Review.

    “It’s also cramping our economic growth,” said Frank McArdle, a consultant with Hewitt Associates, which advises large employers and reported on the need for change for the Business Roundtable, an association of C.E.O.’s at major companies. Spending so much on health care is “really a waste of people’s money,” Mr. McArdle said.

    … And many argue that putting off the inevitable has an additional cost. … If President Nixon’s plan had passed, the United States might be spending a trillion dollars a year less than it does now, and President Clinton’s plan would have reduced spending by some $500 billion a year.”

    Why aren’t we hearing more of these arguments?

  50. tonyb39

    “This is not to excusify for Obama — I regret that he didn’t communicate more forcefully or realize the hash Congress could make of reform, allies and opponents.”

    I feel the same.I also think the President wasn’t being served well by his advisers.What the hell has Rahm E. been telling the President for a year?Rahm knows the Congress better than most.I wish the President had put his version of healthcare out there at the beginning,with the Public Option included..Still, what Pelosi is saying today gives me some confidence..

  51. dog's eye view

    Wording and placement accounts for differences in public opinion polling. (Duh.)

    “In the polling about the public option, the wording did indeed vary. The Times/CBS poll explained the plan as “a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get.” [got a 66% favorable response] The other polls did not mention Medicare. The Time poll gauged support for “a government-sponsored public health insurance option.” Pew asked about “a government health insurance plan.” [Time: 56% favorable; Pew: 52% favorable] The Fox News poll asked about “a government-run health insurance plan.” [Fox: 44% favorable]

    NY Times: Opinion Polling: A Question of What to Ask

    This is what is so frustrating. Americans approve, generally, of Medicare and a proven majority wants to see healthcare security strengthened.

    Americans disapprove of Congress because it’s not doing what they elected it to do — which is to change a failed system — rather than demonstrate another variant of dysfunction.

  52. dog's eye view

    Tony: agreed.

    • dnd

      On this last day of February, some props for the month:
      Three holidays: Groundhog day, Valentine’s day, President’s day.
      Signaling the end of winter.
      Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday.
      And a handful of BC’ers birthdays!

  53. dog's eye view

    That’s been happening a lot lately to that nice Mr. Cantor. Well well.

  54. Soros had some pretty interesting things to say on Fareed Zakaria this morning.

  55. dog's eye view

    PS: plz put up the footage, when it’s available. I’m allegedly spring cleaning and not surfing (shhh).

    • dnd

      Go to It’ll be up there sometime soon.

      Soros was brilliant. But then again I guess you don’t get to be one of the richest persons in the world by being stupid.

      BTW, it’s interesting that the wealthiest citizens in the U.S. are liberals: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, George Soros.

  56. TempeBev

    I like your summary of February. Good work Dnd

  57. dog's eye view

    Shark Hopscotch.

    Josh Marshall (TPM) this afternoon re Senator McCain’s veracity on news shows and elsewhere. Gotta love it.

  58. Andrew Hansen

    “The President appeared as the grownup in the room,” and, “Prior to the Health Care Summit , many members of the right feared that this was a “setup,” a “trap” that would make them look foolish, much as it did when the President went to the House Republican Retreat in January. They were correct. However it was not the President that made them look foolish. They did it themselves,” are just plain false. He looked like a sore winner of an election and a sore looser on this issue. His response to the Republicans points was often, well I won, or I’m the President. How is that being a grown-up and not being a man-boy (a grown up with the maturity of a child)? This is how the Dem’s health plan strikes out. Strike one: The American People do not want it. Why? More ineffective government care. Katrina, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid are just a few reasons. Katrina (i know a republican was president, I don’t want any politician controlling my health care) because of the government’s long response to the needs. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are all bankrupt (and are nothing more ponzi schemes). Medicare has the highest claim denial rate of any insurance provider. The people do not want more government in health care. Strike Two: The doctors don’t want it. Enough said. Strike Three: Those who have lived under it don’t like it. The British representative to the European parliment warned us of the dangers of it ( and the Canadian premier comes to America when he has a health problem.

  59. Morning Peeps,
    Andrew I’m not sure your premise that the American people don’t want it is correct. Polling on this entire issue is really problematic. If you break down the bill to separate issues the polling is good, if you poll people on the entire bill it’s not so good. Another example of how polling on the entire health care issue breaks down is when you poll people if they are happy with their current health care coverage. Most people will say they are happy with what they have but when you look deeper into the numbers you find the problem, most people have not had to access their health care coverage to any extant. Now when you poll the 20% of Americans who do have to regularly access the health care system the numbers are quite different.

    “The American People do not want it. Why? More ineffective government care. ”

    Really? Medicare has a more than 60% approval rating from the people enrolled in the problem. I don’t know of anyone on Medicare who is turning down the coverage. Also can you tell us what the source is for the following statement of yours:

    “Medicare has the highest claim denial rate of any insurance provider.”

    Frankly I don’t buy it.

  60. Andrew Hansen

    Here is where I found corroborating evidence but I originally heard it on the Radio from a former U.S. Attorney and Constitutional law professor at University of Miami (retired now). Doctors do not get paid anywhere near the amount of the actual cost under Medicare. For more proof it will not work look to Massachusetts and this It also is based off lies. They say that those who don’t have insurance use the emergency room improperly. That is false, the Connecticut Hospital Association did a study on this and found there was no statistically significant difference numbers of improper emergency room visits for people who have insurance and those who don’t. Why because look to other reasons, your doctor is closed, you over react and think a condition is worse than it is, you are new to the area and don’t have a doctor.

    • dnd

      The reason “the bill” (note: there is no bill yet) polls unfavorably is not just the people who are afraid of a “government takeover of health care” (which is not proposed). It’s also people who don’t think “the bill” does enough.

      p.s. citing newsbusters isn’t a great way to lend credibility to one’s argument.

  61. One thing left out of the report on that study is that denials are not made by Medicare but by the private insurance companies who’s Medicare plans people have enrolled in, perhaps the issue here is not Medicare but the privates managing the system?

    I’m curious as to what aspects of the current bill you find so bothersome, and please don’t site the Nelson deal, etc. we know those are going to be dropped during the reconciliation process.

  62. dog's eye view

    A new poster. Yippee. Welcome Andrew, and will read the thread in a few.

    Meantime: here’s a profile of Paul Krugman from the New Yorker.

    Good morning all.

  63. TempeBev

    Another repug – KY – Jim Bunning – we can all be proud of for f–king up those that are in need and aren’t his buddies who earn over $250,000/yr. Anyone catch him flipping off a newsperson?

  64. top of the evening peeps.

  65. Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Mon, March 01, 2010 — 7:14 PM ET

    Harold E. Ford Jr. Decides Not to Run for New York Senate Seat

    Under intense pressure from Democratic Party officials,
    Harold E. Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman, has
    decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the
    primary this fall, according to two people told of his plans.

    He has told friends that, while he is convinced he could
    prevail against Ms. Gillibrand, he feared the winner of the
    primary would have little money and remain highly vulnerable
    to a well-financed Republican challenger at a time when the
    Democratic party controls the Senate by a slim majority.

    Smart move on his part!

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