Health care summit expectations low
Our Readers Who Comment are engaged in an unusual amount of mudslinging as they contemplate Thursday's televised health care summit with President Obama and members of Congress from both parties and the news that Republicans intend to propose private sector, not government, solutions.
Democrat-sounding readers roll out strong doses of sarcasm, pointing to various private sector events of the past that haven't worked out that well for the public. Republican-sounding readers mostly attack the concept of another government program and the failed intellectual capacity of Democrats to understand economics and the profound threat of big government.
As Shailagh Murray and Perry Bacon Jr. write, "The Republican summit strategy is twofold: to portray the Obama plan as radical and ruinously expensive, while reassuring a potential television audience of millions that the GOP takes the health-care crisis seriously and is prepared to address it headon."
We'll start with wireknob, who offered one of the few balanced entries in saying, "One can only hope that the debate will be constructive. Health care truly needs reform and the various sides of the issue have offered some compelling ideas of their own and valid criticisms of other approaches. I don't think the public has soured on health care reform, only on the political process that has been used thus far to achieve it and some of the legislative product put forth."
Here2day, echoing Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, wrote, "...Therefore, part of the Republican compromise with the Democrats should be to bar the hospital door on those who can't pay. Now that will shrink the cost of health care pretty good. AND moreover, in the next five or six years, millions of these dead-beat will die, thus decreasing the surplus population, the unemployment rolls, and other welfare handouts that increase our debt..."
Aprogressiveindependent said, "The only propaganda a lot worse than that coming from the Obama white house is propaganda from Republicans in Congress. Few people are so intellectually challenged as to think they are concerned about or have serious ideas to offer about health care. Expanding coverage to three million people shows incredible callousness, refusing to ban discrimination based on preexisting conditions shows Republicans in Congress care more about health care insurance companies than ordinary people. The Obama/Reid health care bill is weak, inadequate and unfair in many ways. On a scale 0 to 10, their plan is a 5, the Republican plan a 0."
LestWeThink wrote, "I agree with conservatives--all those shiftless, lazy folks should stop relying on gov and become self-sufficient. Of course that means the corporate welfare queens dependent on gov for fat contracts they'd never get in the free market. The Supreme Court said that corporations should be treated just like individuals so let's push those deadbeats off gov dependency and force them to work for a living"
greatgran1 said, "I would love to hear the Republicans private sector ideas. We have never been able to hear them since they were locked out and the regular news sources ignored their ideas. The summit needs to start from scratch... We all know the government has not run anything efficiently ever. The President's proposal will bankrupt our country. Let us hear the Republican's private sector ideas. That sounds like what we need."
jimsteinberg1 wrote, "A "more common-sense, modest approach to health-care reform." That is the Republican "answer." Our nation has more than 31 million Americans with no health insurance, and the Republicans urge on us a more modest approach... Where is the Republicans' compassion, and how can we help them find it?"
jimb said, "...My primary goal is health care insurance for all U.S. citizens, and eventually health care insurance coverage and quality of care equal if not better than that of Members of Congress and their families..."
easttxisfreaky wrote, "First: Force Obama to address illegal immigrants as being PROHIBITED from receiving any type of medical care whatsoever. Trust me, they will GO HOME when they learn of this. While you're at it, prohibit them from free food, housing, utilities, and that a child MUST BE a citizen to attend our schools..."
Anadromous2 said, "...If the GOP has no realistic plan to cover the current crop of uninsured people, then the summit is just theater. Obama and the Dems should just ignore them and pass a decent reform package on a majority vote"
BlueTwo1 asked, "Haven't you heard? Americans don't want health-care reform. Actually, that's true, as long as by "Americans" you include only Wellpoint, Aetna, United Health Care, Blue Cross, and the myriad of other excessively rich health insurance companies who got rich telling grandma she cannot have the operation she needs because, get this, it is too expensive..."
ggwalt wrote, "I have heard some of the Republicans suggestions, and fail to see how any of them would adequately address the problem. For example, Tort reform is all well and good, but only constitutes a very small part of the problem. Many states have already enacted Tort reform, and is hasn't helped. Healthcare savings accounts, again totally unrealistic... Then there's the "buying insurance across state line". How does that help? We still end up with just a few large insurance monopolies that can continue to jack up their rates."
NewThoughts said, "The timing of the Toyota hearing could not be better. Can we finally end this myth that private companies are more efficient? We can now add the name of Toyota to the list of failures by private industry to the recent list of stellar, efficient, companies. Companies like: AIG, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, GM, Blackwater, Haliburton, Pfizer, Citi Bank, and on and on. This is the legacy of "Private industry solutions". It is time to stop arguing that public funds should be used to make private industry rich..."
To which beebop1 replied, "Yeah. Communism is so much better for progress and invention. Thanks for your fetid contributions comrade."
DLN1 wrote, "The raucous town hall meetings of the August congressional recess, driven largely by opposition to widespread health-care reform proposals, ended that debate. And this was largely financed by insurance companies that lied and lied and lied. America's health care system is a disgrace. We can always find dollars to go kill people in other countries allegedly to protect us, but we won't spend money to protect our own citizens from illness. Chances of getting cancer are far greater than getting his by a terrorist."
We'll close with patr2, who wrote, "Despite their claim, the conservatives did not win the argument over the last year--they won the spin. And spin won't work in a televised setting, because people know the difference between a conversation and grandstanding. Any attempt at distorting an argument or squeezing in a sound bite will be met by a clarification. And, more importantly, the American people will have an opportunity to see every disingenuous twitch from either side."
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February 24, 2010; 7:47 AM ET
| Tags: Health Care Reform, Obama, Republicans, Summit
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