Obama healthcare on political operating table
Last year, President Barack Obama tried to get Congress to pass healthcare legislation that came from the minds of lawmakers.
We all know how well that went.
So today, Obama put his own version on the table.
The response from Republicans was (shock of shocks) — they don’t like it. House Republican leader John Boehner says Obama’s proposal jeopardizes bipartisan healthcare work (You might ask what bipartisan healthcare work? We’re not quite sure).
The response from Democrats was (shock of shocks) — they’ll review it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it contained positive elements from the separate bills that passed the House and Senate last year.
All of this is a prelude to the big healthcare summit on Thursday where Obama wants Democrats and Republicans to break bread at the same table and come up with areas of agreement.
But being that it’s an election year and all, a major breakthrough between Democrats and Republicans at the summit would seem about as likely as snow removal on my street after a major storm.
“This week’s summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial for continuing on a partisan course that relies on more backroom deals and parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and jam through a massive government takeover of health care,” Boehner said. (In case there was any question about where Republicans stand.)
Basically in the political theater, the game is who can make who look more partisan. Democrats will say they tried to get Republicans on board, and Republicans will say Democrats didn’t make any acceptable moves.
Who do you think will win in casting the other as the problem?
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Photo credit: Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili (breaking bread in Georgia, 2008), Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama at meeting with state governors)