by Bill Press
Bipartisan Healthcare Summit
For weeks, ever since Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, Democrats have put health care reform legislation on hold, and we've been left wondering what the next move would be. Well, now we know.
President Obama has summoned Democratic and Republican leaders to Blair House, across the street from the
Now, as a Democrat and big Obama supporter, I know I'm supposed to bounce up and down with glee at this historic attempt at bipartisanship. But, pardon my lack of excitement, I think the whole thing's a waste of time and will do nothing but unnecessarily prolong the process, muddy the waters, and give Republicans one more opportunity to stab Obama in the back. In fact, I'm willing to bet that this year's Blair summit will accomplish even less than last year's beer summit.
Maybe that kind of bipartisan meeting would have been helpful a year ago, but not now. We've already spent 14 months trying to get both sides together on health care reform. At this point, it's clear there's no way Mitch McConnell and John Boehner will agree to anything. They want nothing but the status quo. They want health care to fail. They want Obama to fail.
God knows, Obama's tried. He went up to
As a precondition for that meeting, John Boehner has demanded that Obama drop both the House and
Here's what I don't understand: After being rebuffed so many times by Republicans over the last 14 months, why is President Obama still reaching out to them? Does he really think they're suddenly going to join hands with Democrats and sing "Kumbaya"? This week, the president told
Yet Obama has decided to give Republicans one more chance. I hope he makes clear to them it's their last chance. Give him credit for trying, but if Republicans don't come to the table on Feb. 25 with good ideas and a willingness to compromise -- instead of just showing up with the same old lies -- President Obama should forget about trying to get bipartisan support and focus on Democrats instead.
That's the best plan, which Democrats in
A year ago, Americans overwhelmingly approved of President Obama's leadership on universal health care. Today, according to the latest Gallup poll, only 36 percent do. The reason, I believe, is because Obama and Senate Democrats have focused too much on the process and not enough on the product. Americans still want health care reform, they just don't like the delays, backroom deals, and partisan bickering involved in the process. And they don't care whether reform passes with bipartisan support or not.
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Planned Bipartisan Summit Singing 'Kumbaya' on Health Care Reform | Bill Press
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