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The Healthcare Meeting From H-E-L-L!!

| On 26, Feb 2010

Barack Obama wonders, "What the hell am I really here for?!" (Photo courtesy of UPI)

After yesterday’s “Healthcare Summit,” I was simply left shaking my big head.  What in God’s name was that pitiful charade broadcast ’round the world from Blair House???

Honestly, a group of THIRD GRADERS could have accomplished much more in less time.  The bulk of what I caught from the meeting I listened to on XM radio.  Here’s some of my personal highlights:

  • Democrats and Republicans disagree fundamentally on healthcare in America. I think the Taliban could have found more agreement in that room than they did yesterday.  If one said left, the other said right.  I say black, you say white.  The only item they agreed on was that it was February 25 and they were all sitting on Planet Earth.  That’s about it.
  • Where were the action items, to-do lists, and status reports on deliverables? They would all be fired from a regular job in corporate America for that performance.  Was there a flip chart, status report, something to show where we are GOING?!  Who is accountable for the progress they did make (none) in the meeting?  When are you all reconvening since this mess is far from over?
  • Republicans are not telling the whole story. I will agree with them that the bill is not what we would have liked AND the voters don’t like it.  But, they are leaving out a key sentence that people DO want the public option.  They need to check the recent polls in several states showing that people greatly prefer a public option.
  • Neither Dems or Repubs know how to talk outside of talking points. I kept hearing the same stump speeches about the issue – “My constituents don’t like it..” “Threat of reconciliation…” “Not fiscally responsible..”  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!
  • There was too much damn STORYTELLING in that room!! Everybody told a story of how back in their home state they knew a paraplegic orphan with three bedridden kids, no car, asthma, two pre-existing conditions with a hole in their heart.  Yes, we have some sick people out here who truly need good medical care.  But, for the purposes of getting this legislation through – nobody is changing their vote based on these sad stories of people we don’t know and can’t meet.  Barack even told a story about how Malia almost died from asthma and nobody budged?!?!  Hint, hint people…
  • Politicians have very smart mouths! The classic line from yesterday was when POTUS told John McCain, “John, we’re not campaigning anymore…” when McCain got off on a tangent about the “secrecy” of the bill up to this point.  There were so many side-eyes, cross looks, and interruptions between almost all of the participants.  Honestly, it was boring, but you could hear the anger in some people’s voices.
  • We’re no closer to bipartisan consensus on healthcare than we were on Wednesday. In my opinion, that’s fine.  They can use reconciliation to get the bill through, stand on their heads, I really don’t care.  This debate is stale, the American people want more, and sometimes you just have to move forward.

All in all, the American people were the losers at the Healthcare Summit.  It’s sad, but true.  I wish that some lawmakers could see past their cushy offices and government healthcare to actually stand in the shoes of people with much less.

P.S. – Click here to read a scathing article from Steven Pearlstein of The Washington Post about the dynamics of the Summit.

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