Seems I may have been a bit premature in being optimistic about Obama’s health care “summit” with Republicans. He may not be looking to have an open discussion with both sides putting their views forward on how to proceed with health care reform, but instead in using this as a back door to pick up some Republican support for his massive health care overhaul.
White House aides quickly rejected the idea that Obama wants to start over after nearly a year of contentious legislative haggling among members of his party.
Officials said the president will come to the health-care summit armed with a merged version of the two bills that Democrats strong-armed through the two chambers with almost no GOP backing.
“This is not starting over,” one White House official said, who requested anonymity in order to discuss administration strategy. “Don’t make any mistake about that. We are coming with our plan. They can bring their plan.”
The problem is that right now, while there are a number of Republican ideas are on the table, there is no one Republican plan. And unless Republican settle on a single plan, the White House will try to use these negotiations to try to cast aspersions on the GOP for not having such a plan. If the White House comes with their plan (which is something it should have done last summer), they’re all be certain to make it the focus of negotiations.
Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And indeed, if Republicans come well-prepared, it may be a good thing. They can press on removing certain provisions particularly unpalatable to them (and the American people) that Democrats would be loath to remove. And on inserting such things as tort reform that remain popular with the American people, but are anathema to Democrats.
They must not acquiesce to a radical overhaul of our health care system. It’s not good for the country and it’s not what the people want. So, rather than try to work within Obama’s framework, Republicans, Tom Maguire believes “should stick to [Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s message – rather than try to reform one-sixth of the US economy in three hours, Republicans should offer some simple first steps.”
That may make them appear to be the “Party of No” to the Democrats, but to the American people, it will make them look like the party of reasonable reform.
UPDATE: Matthew Continetti offers an interesting suggestion: GOP should show Obama the one-page health reform bill
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/one-page-health-bill-83814567.html#ixzz0ezIiUlZp