Health Care Dynamic

With the release on Monday of a new health care plan from the White House, did anything really change in terms of the politics on health care reform in the Congress?  Judging from the reaction, probably not.

Since the plan wasn't much different than the bills that made it through the House and Senate on health reform last year, Republicans had a ready-made explanation for what they thought of this - just more of the same.

And interest groups that back the GOP jumped in as well.

"President To Bring Nothing New To Health Care Summit," said the head of the group Patient's First, a more conservative voice on health reform.

There was no love from Republicans on the floor of the House either, as it was a quick thumbs down there for the new White House effort.

"Scrap the House bill, scrap the Senate bill and start over," said Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA).

Obviously, the idea of starting over is not something that Democrats plan to do at this point, as they started to set down markers for Thursday's health care summit.

"If the setup for Thursday is simply walking in there and saying, I don't support what you've done, and there's nothing else to that, then I think the American people will be disheartened that Democrats and Republicans even sitting in the same room discussing the same subject are incapable of even having a discussion about what alternative ideas there are," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

In other words, it didn't take long for both sides to lay the groundwork for Thursday, which many in DC feel will be more of a 'dog and pony' show than anything else.

It would be nice to think that both sides could sit down together and negotiate, but there sure aren't many signs of that right now.

"President Obama unveiled today is just more of the same government-run insurance, mandates and taxes the American people have overwhelmingly rejected," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).

"Republicans say they support health reform, but the only ideas they've put forward involve privatizing Medicare and Social Security or giving more power to the insurance and drug industries," countered Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Both sides have their talking points, but it may be that health care compromise is a bridge too far.

Which means maybe the only way for something to get done is if Democrats go it alone.  

And they may not have the votes for that either.

This is the story that just never seems to end.
With the release on Monday of a new health care plan from the White House, did anything really change in terms of the politics on health care reform in the Congress?  Judging from the reaction, probably not. Since the plan wasn't much different than the bills that made it through ...

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