Posted by: Debby Durkee | February 26, 2010

Reaction to the Health Care Summit

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Reaction to Health Care Summit.

The Heritage Foundation has some brilliant scholars, and they have posted their initial thoughts after the so-called “Health Care Summit” from yesterday between the Congressional Democrats, Republicans and President Obama. The Republicans came prepared and made principled and well-researched arguments and laid out a much better alternative to the massive, convoluted approach of the President and his party.

From Bob Moffit:

the Congressional Republicans can take solace in knowing that on the specific issue of the House and Senate health bills that they alone stand with the vast majority of their fellow Americans in opposition to these measures.

While the President and Congressional Democrats would place more control over Americans’ health care in the hands of government officials, Congressional Republicans made it clear that they are seeking to sharply expand patients’ control over their own health care, not only in decision-making but in control of the flow of dollars in the system. Moreover, the summit showcased the President’s insistence that on advancing the same prescription for federal control enacted in the House and Senate by the Congressional leadership. The President’s own proposal, for example, builds off of the Senate bill. Thus, a number of features that many, if not most, of Americans find objectionable would be retained, including mandates on individuals and employers to buy insurance, and heavy federal control of private benefits and premiums.  Snip  —

Since the inception of the debate, it should be noted that the President insisted that his health policy agenda did not constitute a federal takeover of the health care system. In fact, it is very much a federal takeover of American health care…(The President’s Proposal) establishes for the first time a legislative basis for the imposition of price controls on health insurance. If government can control both health benefits and health care pricing, that’s the proverbial ball game. Private health care would be “private” in name only.

Ed Haislmaier:

…In his comments, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) highlighted three of those major divisions — comprehensive legislation versus incremental legislation, starting over versus pressing ahead with the bills passed in House and Senate in December, and a decentralized approach versus a centralized federal solution.  Today’s debate showed few indications of a willingness by the President or the Congressional leadership to alter their basic approach.

Nina Owcharenko:

…the crucial differences between Congress and the nation at large are not differences in degree; they are differences in policy direction.  Most Americans want problems in the health insurance markets fixed, but they do not want a federal takeover of the health care sector of the economy.

James Capretta:

The White House was hoping their summit meeting would create momentum among Democrats to push their bill through the Congress.  That momentum almost certainly does not exist.

Nothing fundamental changed today.  A strong majority of Americans is dead set against enactment of the bills Congress has been developing.  They are rightfully concerned about the risks that a large and expensive new entitlement program will pose for future tax rates and deficits.  They want Congress to go much more slowly and make sure that whatever is done improves matters and doesn’t make things worse.

Please read it all here:

Ryan: Hiding spending doesn’t reduce it.

Here’s a great video featuring Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). He makes mincemeat out of the Democrat proposals, shining a bright light on the costs, the trickery in the Dems’ quest for a good CBO rating, and the congressional Democrats’ attempts to hide spending elsewhere so it doesn’t show up in the CBO projections. He continues to win points with the American people, and when the camera is on the president, I seem to see a combination of admiration for Ryan and also wishing Ryan would drop dead!  Watch this brilliant, young man here:

Alexander: Reconciliation will result in bipartisan opposition.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) came out swinging in his polite manner (a sledgehammer wrapped in a fur glove). His calm demeanor only gave more weight to his argument against the Nuclear Option (reconciliation – passing it in the Senate with only 51 votes). Let’s go to the tape:

Ryan: “We don’t think all the answers lie in Washington.”

Here’s another short video of Rep. Ryan.

Update:  Someone needs to tell the President his Bill is Dead.

More from the Heritage Foundation this morning.

The day before yesterday’s White House health care summit, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) told reporters: “The only way this works is for the House to pass the Senate bill and then, depending on what the package is, the reconciliation provision that moves first through the House and then comes here.” When Conrad was reminded that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly insisted that the House will not pass the Senate bill until the Senate passes a second bill that fixes the first, Conrad replied: “Fine, then it’s dead.”

This was the dynamic that President Barack Obama was trying to alter with his eventually-seven-hour meeting. And judging by pretty much every major news outlet, he completely failed. Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who is one of the 39 House Democrats that the White House needs to switch from a “no” the first time around to a “yes” this time, told The New York Times: “I don’t see very many at all who voted no who are going to switch their votes unless there are substantial changes in the bill.”

And that reality is already spreading throughout Capitol Hill. Politico reports that while Democrats were hoping to pass Obamacare by Easter, “there were signs Thursday night that the schedule was slipping. One Democratic lawmaker involved in the negotiations, who asked not to be identified to speak candidly of the process, said the party would not, in fact, start down the path of reconciliation next week.”

Please go to the link to read the rest. This is good news. Let’s hope this finally dies, but as I said yesterday, Obama and Obamacare is like Captain Ahab and Moby Dick — the obsessed and the object of the obsession will go down together.


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  1. A great article detailing how Americans feel about the healthcare proposal…not the administration…isn’t that what it is all supposed to be about???

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