Although I had hoped—perhaps naively—that yesterday’s healthcare summit at Blair House would yield actual results in terms of breaking the current congressional deadlock between Democrats and Republicans, the conduct of the latter was often marked by talking points repeated ad nauseum in an effort to grind reform to a halt.
Particularly lame were Eric Cantor and John Boehner hiding behind their symbolic stacks of paper, and droning on about how the current Senate bill must be scrapped and begun again – which is just code for shelving healthcare as an issue entirely, and burying it in committee until the year of 2061 A.D.
Recall that while under GOP control, the party had countless opportunities to push for substantial health reform measures yet failed to do so. Thus, were Republicans to re-assume control of Congress this fall there’s no reason to believe they won’t do so again – paying lip service to reform with the actual intention of doing nothing.
Also, it was fun to watch Republicans at yesterday’s summit—particularly John McCain—quake in their proverbial boots regarding the notion of Congressional Dems using reconciliation to pass reform by a popular vote when the GOP has used the measure several times themselves. Watching McCain grouse about the recklessness of such a move by Democrats was pretty pathetic, as Barack Obama himself noted in so many words.