Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Health Care Pony Show

It's no small surprise that many people in this country believe that the health care summit being held today is going to amount to anything substantial or allow the Republican party to finally have a say in a process they have been largely shut out of.

No, instead it's a chance for Obama to show some toughness on the camera.  Consider this exchange between McCain and Obama:

Spirited debate unfolds at health care summit -
McCain, who lost to the president in the 2008 race, said candidate Obama had pledged eight times that the health care debate would be conducted in the open and televised by C-SPAN.

Instead, McCain said, the legislation was "produced behind closed doors ... with unsavory deals."

Obama tried to break in, but McCain asked to be allowed to finish.

After McCain was done, Obama seemed to flash some anger when he said, "We're not campaigning. The election is over."
I don't think that McCain was trying to campaign for the presidency here - I think he was trying to hold Obama accountable for his promises, something that Obama is apparently not used to.  Overall Democrats are going about this the wrong way - they are ignoring the voters, operating behind closed doors and preventing the Republicans from participating and doing the jobs they were elected to do.

Obama also seemed to take a shot at Cantor, the House Republican whip, who stacked the voluminous House and Senate health care reform bills on the table in front of him.

The president called the display "props." "These are the kinds of political things we do that prevent us from having a conversation," Obama said.
I think that instead of our President taking shots at people who come prepared to the meetings he should be listening to and addressing their concerns.  I know that if I was a politician going to a meeting about health care reform I would want to bring both bills with me so I could reference them during the meeting.  It's not "props"; it's being prepared.

Finally, there is this gem of a paragraph from the article about Pelosi:

Spirited debate unfolds at health care summit -
Pelosi on Wednesday declined to give any specifics about how Democrats will proceed on the health care overhaul. She also sidestepped questions about Democrats' plans to use a controversial parliamentary shortcut to bypass GOP opposition and pass a health care bill.
Why is it that the Democrats want to keep the American people in the dark about this stuff?  Why not televise the debates throughout the entire process?  Why not release summary statements of the effects and disadvantages of the bill?

If I was a politician, and I'm not... yet, I would want to be up-front and honest with the people I was elected to represent.  No hiding behind procedure, no bullying the opposition and generally trying to make real compromises with the opposition. 

Now not every single line in the health care bills are bad, in fact I find great convenience with the page numbering and the date references.  Seriously, there are some good things that may come of this:  we may finally be able to crack down on insurance fraud, we may be able to finally eliminate frivolous suits so that doctor's don't have to order so many tests and we may finally be able to allow insurance companies to more effectively compete with one another, driving down the cost of premiums and increasing the quality of coverage.

Heck... who am I kidding?  The Democrats are in charge...

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