So today’s SEVEN hour health care summit is over. I had it on in the background for the first three hours. And then it was the lunch break. And I didn’t come back. Coz I figured I could get a pretty good summary later on. (And I can. See Politico, HuffPo’s live-blog coverage, and the BBC. Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post listed his winners and losers. More importantly, you can find White House pictures of the event here, and FactCheck.org’s invaluable truth-telling here.)
From what I saw, far too many were trotting out tired old talking points, talking at each other rather than with each other, trying to score political points or to posture for their viewing audience. The President was at his community-organizer-best, trying to find common ground, trying to get people to cooperate and coordinate their efforts. But I have a feeling that, even though there is much in the present bill that Republicans agree upon, they’ve dug themselves into their positions to such an extent–both sides have, actually–that it’s too difficult to climb out and work together. And that’s one of the things that frustrates me about politics.
Anyway, it seems that the President has set an Easter deadline (or target, depending on how you want to look at it) for health care reform to pass. Which means we have four weeks to get this thing done. What happens if nothing gets passed? I dunno … the millions of people without health insurance will continue to go without health insurance, insurance premiums will continue to go up, health care spending will continue to explode our deficit, and America will continue to be the only industrialized country where people can go bankrupt because they got sick.