How Republicans Should Handle Obama's Health Reform Summit
Mary Kate Cary
GOP Prepares for Sweeping Healthcare Reform
Democrats Hope Summit Will Revive Healthcare
It could be the title of a
saw it at the
Over Super Bowl weekend, President Obama invited congressional Republicans to join him in a half-day televised summit on healthcare reform later this month. Despite the warnings of some on the right, it's not a mistake to say yes to this invitation. But it would be a mistake to commit the Palin fallacy and show up unprepared. With this healthcare summit, Republicans have a golden opportunity to show their ideas in the best light, and the last thing they should do is wing it. They need more than just a few notes written on their hands.
Polls show that big majorities of Americans oppose the Democrats' bills, so you'd think Democrats would want to restart, too. But Republicans shouldn't make that a condition for sitting at the table in the first place; they should say yes to negotiations and then work to scrap the bills once they get in the room. The cameras will be on, and they've got the American people on their side.
scaled-back reforms could win the
Republicans need to prove that they're more than an opposition party -- as good a job as they've done with that -- and show that they are the party of those alternative ideas.
There are other common-sense, free-market Republican ideas for healthcare reform that Americans support.
A January Rasmussen poll shows that 6 in 10 Americans favor limited jury awards in medical malpractice suits to lower costs, which Republicans have long supported. Done right, incremental healthcare reform can lower the deficit, cut costs, and maybe even take some of the burden off small-business owners.
Even though most of us agree that America has the best healthcare
system in the world in terms of quality, Republicans cannot defend the
status quo when it comes to skyrocketing costs to families and the
long-term cost to our economy. And if a modest form of healthcare reform
does pass, they'd do well to make sure that some
There are other benefits to the salami-slicing approach.
The Republicans have a
great opportunity to show how far left the Democrats are on this, to
make their case as principled, limited-government leaders and explain
they are as well-spoken as the president or not, Republicans have a long
and proud tradition of debating their ideas. Reasoning with people gets
you a lot further than preaching or condescending.
And third, it would show there's only one Republican these days who continues to engage in the Palin fallacy by showing up unprepared and unfocused. If Republicans jump into the policy trenches and Palin continues to stand by and watch, she'll be quickly marginalized.
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Healthcare Reform - How Republicans Should Handle Obama's Health Reform Summit | Mary Kate Cary
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