Bipartisan Health Care Reform?

Bipartisan Health Care Reform?

Health care. After all the revisions, all the hemming and hawing, all the opposition, all the tea party antics, all the State of the Union talk and all of the money spent on both sides of the issue over the 6 months+ of debating and dealing with it, we still have to deal with it. Even though the one bill passed through the House of Representatives, it will probably have to be dramatically changed if not abandoned altogether. Because the Senate is no longer filibuster-proof. And that whole Massachusetts thing. But, I’d kind of love to hear Scott Brown’s favorite recipes and his reading of the Great Gatsby or something, you know? Why don’t we just let them filibuster? It would probably be more interesting that whatever else is going on.

Bottom line: Obama is not going to give up on health care/ health insurance reform. The Democrats are not going to let the issue slide. The Republicans are not going to give up easy- they may even filibuster. Blahblahblah.

"The president is trying to turn around the sour mood on this issue and mitigate the criticism that he's ramming this bill down people's throats," said Bob Blendon, a health policy and political analyst at Harvard University.

What the president is doing is calling for a healthcare summit including both sides of the aisle. His plan is to salvage what is left of the healthcare reform. Republicans want to start over.

February 25 is now a pretty important day. Obama even wants it televised.

"Republicans welcome honest discussion, but this event reeks of political gamesmanship. The only constructive discussions will start with a blank sheet of paper," said Tom Price, Republican Representative.

Obama just needs to tell guys like Price to shut up. He’s the president and he doesn’t have to start on an even keel with the Congressional minority.

There is all this talk about making it a bipartisan thing, and about how Obama should be working with the Republicans on all of this, and about how the Republicans want to start over, or about how there is no room for compromise. I know- why should there be any compromise? It’s the majority party in both houses pushing something through with a president in power. PUSHING something through. This is not a question. This is just what is happening. You don’t need to get the thumbs up from the Republicans all the time on something like this. Just do it.

"He's [Obama] open to including any good ideas that stand up to objective scrutiny. What he will not do, however, is walk away from reform and the millions of American families and small business counting on it. The recent news that a major insurer plans to raise premiums for some customers by as much as 39 percent is a stark reminder of the consequences of doing nothing," said White House spokesman Gibbs.

Indeed. I support the go for the gold approach to try and ram this thing through as a budget concept. Just give it the thumbs up or thumbs down. Then let’s get people back to work.

Photo Credit: jmtimages (via Flickr under CCL)