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Healthcare Summit Live Special - Page 3

3:00 p.m.

President Obama to Sen. McCain: "I think you make a legitimate point." Biggest shocker yet!



3:07 p.m.

Congressman Xavier Becerra misses the fact that waiting 10 years for the deficit reduction to kick in is waiting too long. We can't afford to increase the deficit for ten years and hope that the reduction that follows will pay for it. That will not work, especially since we reach deficit spending at 100% GDP in ten years.



3:13 p.m.

Dammit, the networks stopped showing it again. Grrr! I'm so pissed at C-Span.



3:16 p.m.

Senator Grassley did a good job pointing out that you can't rely on cuts that haven't been made; you have to make the cuts before you start spending. Yep. Nobody trusts the government when they say they promise to do something a few years from now.



3:22 p.m.

What Senator Conrad is talking about is really dangerous, but it's not necessarily wrong. He's talking about how the chronically ill are responsible for most healthcare costs, and it's because their care isn't properly coordinated (his example includes an old man taking far too many prescription drugs he doesn't need). Yeah, we could probably save a lot of money by coordinating the care of the chronically ill, but once you open up that Pandora's Box, it's a slippery slope towards those death panels.



3:27 p.m.

Okay, Rep. Boehner really is just making Republican talking points. Not helpful.



3:34 p.m.

I really like Rep. Cooper. He's agreeing with Republicans about the deficit and special deals, and he seems like, more than any other Democrat in the room, he really wants to find solutions to the deficit problem.



3:36 p.m.

Ah, too bad he decided to get on the "it's really the Republicans' fault" bandwagon. How disappointing. We don't care who's at fault--we really don't--we only care about how we can fix it.



3:40 p.m.

McCain just made the best case I've ever heard for medical malpractice reform: it's worked everywhere it's been tried. But now he's on about reconciliation again. Let that be what the pundits talk about, because it's not a winning issue for this summit.



3:52 p.m.

President Obama just hit the nail on the head when it comes to this last issue of coverage. Can we cover everybody? Should we cover everybody? And how the heck do we pay for it? We will have to raise taxes to do it, so would it be worth it?



3:58 p.m.

Senator Barrasso: "Coverage does not equal care." Amen.



4:04 p.m.

We've wasted way too much time talking about catastrophic coverage, and it's stalling the summit. Stay on point, people! Now Rep. Waxman is pulling out class warfare tactics. Yeah, Republicans only want coverage for rich people. Yeah, because Republicans want to eat poor children's babies. And now he's equating it to Sen. Harkin's earlier arguments about segregation. Wow, the race card and the class card in the same dumb argument!



4:10 p.m.

Rep. Waxman is making Democratic talking points and arguing that it is futile to try and find common ground. Not helpful.



4:15 p.m.

Rep. Roskam is doing well, and I agree that the subtext is the Democrats asking: "What will it take to get you guys to vote for this bill?" I also like the kind way he's telling the president that it's not an issue of communication. People don't need to have it explained any better; they need it to be restarted.



4:25 p.m.

My brain has melted.



4:27 p.m.

All I see are monkeys in suits speaking gibberish.



4:29 p.m.

Blah blah blah. I don't know what's happening anymore.



4:30 p.m.

Where am I? Who am I? Who's that talking?



4:32 p.m.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.



4:33 p.m.

power... incentive... reform... insurance... incremental... interstate... empower... coverage... fiscal... words have no meaning anymore. silly willy nilly billy filly dilly.



4:37 p.m.

I can't go on. I think I'm dying. My melted brain is trying to kill me so that the pain will end. Why did I agree to do this? What have I done?



4:40 p.m.

I have a story too. There once was a guy who had insurance. He paid it every month. He got sick once and went to the doctor. He got good care. He's healthy now. That's my story.



4:45 p.m.

Okay, let me try to get back here. Everybody's now saying the same thing. It's all the same. Republicans want incremental steps. Democrats absolutely refuse. All the rest is just noise. Yeah, the Republicans and Democrats agree on some things, but they also disagree on others. This summit was not about healthcare reform, it was about the Democrats trying to sell this damn bill. Nobody's mind has been changed, and the political landscape remains the same.



4:46 p.m.

Sen. Rangel has laid it out pretty well. I think the best idea really would be to take the things everybody's agreed on and start from there. And yeah, that means throwing away that effing bill already.



4:52 p.m.

Rep. Dingell wants to know what's wrong with passing something by a simple majority. It's pretty simple, dude: that's the oppression of the majority over the minority, and that goes against what this country stands for. There, I've explained it to you. I know you're "immensely grateful" for having it explained to you, you condescending prick.



5:30 p.m.

Okay, it's finally over. My summary goes as follows: Nothing has changed. The president claims he's made some concessions, mostly involving malpractice and buying across state lines, but he also made it clear that he does not in any way support starting over. He makes it sound like starting over will take another 50 years, and that's bullshit. If we started over today, using the common ground outlined in this summit, we could reform healthcare in three months. But no, this wasn't actually about reforming healthcare; this was all a commercial for the Democrat House and Senate bills. In other words, the Democrats still want to shove this beast down our throats, and they want us to like it. I don't know why I should be surprised or disappointed; what can we expect? Politics never change.


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-e. magill 2/25/2010








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