Is the GOP planning to attend Obama’s health care “summit” or not?

posted at 7:08 pm on February 9, 2010 by Allahpundit

The boss is despairing over an interview Eric Cantor gave to Fox News this afternoon at which he all but promises that they’ll be there, but watch the first clip below of Boehner after their meeting with The One this morning. Sure sounds like he’s sticking to yesterday’s demand about starting over on the bill with a clean slate, which Gibbs rejected in a statement last night and which, per the second clip below, Obama himself shot down at today’s presser on grounds that doing it that way is simply too uncertain and will take too long. Obama reportedly wants to go into the meeting with a draft of a final Reid/Pelosi compromise bill in hand and ask McConnell and Boehner which parts of it they’re willing to agree to and what they want in return for doing so. The temptation for the GOP is to simply turn down the invite, but note well this new WaPo poll:

Nearly six in 10 in the new poll say the Republicans aren’t doing enough to forge compromise with President Obama on important issues; more than four in 10 see Obama as doing too little to get GOP support. Among independents, 56 percent see the Republicans in Congress as too unbending and 50 percent say so of the president; 28 percent of independents say both sides are doing too little to find agreement.

As party leaders tussle over the proposed bipartisan health care summit, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they want Congress to keep working to pass comprehensive health-care reform. Democrats overwhelmingly support continued action on this front, as do 56 percent of independents and 42 percent of Republicans.

With all due respect to the boss, what do Republicans gain politically by avoiding the meeting entirely rather than attending it and using it as a platform to air their grievances about the bill? Granted, it’s a meaningless televised photo op which Obama wants to use to prove his bipartisanship and to poke holes in the GOP’s health care policy recommendations, but it’s also a forum at which Republicans can challenge the cost projections and the consequences of the individual mandate (among other things). Showing up, hearing Obama out, and then walking away on principle is a lot more politically salable than the pure rejectionism of refusing to go because there’s nothing left to talk about. What am I missing here? Click the image to watch.

b-summit

Update (Ed): I agree with AP here. The GOP has two choices (at least) here — show up and be seen as willing to at least argue their points, or refuse to show up and allow Obama a photo op with a bunch of empty seats where Republicans were supposed to sit. The public dislikes the ObamaCare bill, so why not take advantage of the media coverage Obama brings to make the same points again: too much government bureaucracy, unconstitutional mandates, and especially the lack of tort reform? If they show up and keep to their arguments, they get to air them on TV. If not, then Obama gets all of the airtime to himself.

And let’s remember one thing from the Obama meeting with the Republicans earlier — it didn’t keep Obama from sinking back to his lowest levels of approval ever. Let’s not be afraid to stand on our arguments.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

1. Tort Reform

2. Elimination of barriers to buy health insurance across state lines.

3. Authorize low-cost, high-deductible private insurance in all states.

4. Enable formation of private, for-profit co-ops whose only business is to buy group policies from large insurers and sell it to individuals and small businesses, at reduced rates.

–You know, of course, that two of those are already in the existing bills, along with some tort reform.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM

If the whole thing is for grandstanding by the Democrats, and political posturing, remember this is an election year. The Democrat’s favorite phrase “The Republicans Are The Party Of No” why give them a target?

The Democrats want, the bills they have passed already period. That’s not negotiating or compromise, it’s bludgeoning the Republicans with their failure to pass a bill with their super majority. I don’t buy that the Democrats are really calling for a bipartisan effort. They are looking for a scapegoat, for their lame Progressive led leadership’s failures, and unpopular leftist legislative agenda. IMO Rahm Emmanuel was right.

Attending this TELEVISED event…..
How does this help the Republicans again?

Dr Evil on February 10, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Monica Crowley’s take on the offer.

Obama’s Blizzard of Confusion.

Making matters worse – which seems to be Mr. Obama’s forte – he continues to hopscotch. In the past two weeks, he has suggested breaking the bill into smaller parts; maintaining it as a whole, comprehensive package; putting it on the legislative back burner; and needing to “punch it through” no matter what. At a fundraiser on Thursday, Mr. Obama simultaneously announced an intention to go “through these bills – their ideas, our ideas” and acknowledged that Congress may scrap health care altogether. His latest proposal is to televise a health care powwow with Republicans on Feb. 25, but details, as usual, are thin: Would it be a debate? A negotiation? A stunt? According to Politico, “top congressional aides in both parties said that they still have no idea what the president is talking about.”

Dr Evil on February 10, 2010 at 10:26 AM

The GOP has two choices (at least) here — show up and be seen as willing to at least argue their points, or refuse to show up and allow Obama a photo op with a bunch of empty seats where Republicans were supposed to sit.

Wrong – there is a third way:

February 12, 2010
The Honorable Rahm Emanuel
Chief of Staff
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. Emanuel:
I have reference to our letter to you dated February 8, 2010 related to the President’s suggestion that we meet with him to discuss a way in which to move health care reform forward.

Our letter provided suggested pre-meeting understandings with which we hoped the President would agree to facilitate working together in a bipartisan fashion to produce a bill that would be cost effective and acceptable to the American people. Unfortunately, members of the President’s administration, namely his Press Secretary and Secretary of Health and Human Resources promptly rejected our suggestions.

In view of the foregoing, it is our position that the meeting suggested by the President is premature. We will be willing to meet with the President after he has:

• Met with Democrats in the House and Senate and come up with complete legislative language is acceptable to both the President and Congressional Democrats; and
• Provided such written bill to Congressional Republicans and published it on-line, in a searchable format readily accessible to the American public 72 hours before the proposed meeting.

The President can rely on the support of Congressional Republicans for a bill that (1) reduces the cost of health care and does not pass higher costs on the state; (2) does not add the federal deficit; and (3) does not reduce funding for Medicare and retains Medicare Advantage Programs, and (4) does not permit the government to come between doctors and patients, or dictate treatments to be provided by physicians. Our suggestions for accomplishing these necessary milestones include providing meaningful and substantive tort reform and competition among private insurers across state lines.

I assure you that as soon as the President has a bill acceptable to House and Senate Democrats and has published it on-line as described above, we will be pleased to sit down with the President to discuss how best to proceed in the best interests of the American people.

Sincerely,

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)

vladtheimp on February 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

It’s a no-brainer. They should go. They can make Bambi look like the ideologue he is. They can highlight their own proposal. They can pound on the insanity of the socialists’ proposal.

misterpeasea on February 9, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Who do you think is gonna watch this thing? The American people? Hardly. This is a show for the press, the OBAMA press, and they are experts at spinning just this kind of photo op to favor that idiot. This will only end one way, favorable for him, and since the republicans are gonna get trashed no matter what they do, showing up is the last thing they should do. Which means they’ll be there and we all know it.

runawayyyy on February 10, 2010 at 10:47 AM

This is all theater. The point is for Obama to star in the role of The Reasonable One, creating public pressure for “reasonable compromise,” and resulting in a)GOP pick-offs; b)moderate (read vulnerable) Dem cover.

The Pubbies should decline to appear in that grand performance, and insist on local productions: in the Senate and House where the scripts are actually written, with Reid and Pelosi as the Dems’ stars. Let those two remain the faces of “comprehensive health care reform” and a two state solution in the ME will occur before either a or b above.

Barnestormer on February 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM

This is all theater.

Barnestormer on February 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Yes that’s what McCotter said, yesterday on Cavuto. I put the video up. I am going to have to agree with McCotter, he knows what to expect out of these folks on the Dem side.

Dr Evil on February 10, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Bozo refuses to start over. The GOP must tell him to stuff a sock in it and no attend.

They need SPINE.

dogsoldier on February 10, 2010 at 11:11 AM

The Republicans, and any other likely sympathetic individuals,
SHOULD SIT ON THEIR HANDS FOR THIS ONE.
THEY CAN SOLIDLY CONDEMN THIS QUACK INTO THE COMPLETE LAME DUCK HE ALREADY IS.

Anyone think the Democrat Party wouldn’t do it if they had the chance? They take any advantage they get. It’s our turn this time.

Cybergeezer on February 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Who do you think is gonna watch this thing? The American people? Hardly. This is a show for the press, the OBAMA press, and they are experts at spinning just this kind of photo op to favor that idiot. This will only end one way, favorable for him, and since the republicans are gonna get trashed no matter what they do, showing up is the last thing they should do. Which means they’ll be there and we all know it.

runawayyyy on February 10, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Exactly: The media will cherry pick the complete proceeding for anything they can use and broadcast whatever they think makes Republicans/Conservatives/Tea Party look obstructionist and uncooperative.
Whether they attend or not, the result shall be the same from the media.

Cybergeezer on February 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Whether they attend or not, the result shall be the same from the media.

Cybergeezer

+1 googleplex (the number, not the building)

Knott Buyinit on February 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

He’s sinking. Throw him a lead life preserver! Screw up by getting sucked into this baby and there will be a third party, because all of America will believe that both parties deserted them!

Don L on February 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

–You know, of course, that two of those are already in the existing bills, along with some tort reform.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Which two?

And if you would, please explain the tort reform in the existing bills and how it will help. My understanding of the House bill is that the language specifically prohibits the medical malpractice caps that Texas has enacted.

Missy on February 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Yep! That’s how we do it. We go ahead a work with these folks because they’ll work and compromise and they will deal with us straightforward and honestly and never do anything underhanded at our expense. /sarc

Either way the GOP will suffer.

The Dems are only going for the “look” of cooperation. They’ll still hold the final draft until the 11th hour a ram something that the GOP didn’t buy into and the MSM will spin it as a bipartisan bill and then we’ll own half of it.

OR…

They show the empty obstructionist chairs and the MSM spins it as the GOP is uncooperative. But the GOP can say they want to start from scratch and the Dems unwillingness to go there left them no choice but to walk away. I never understand why you’re always advocate for the GOP to come from the weak side on issues.

Then stop polling everyday because ultimately I will remind everyone that MA’s senate seat was won by a candidate that proudly signed his name and #41 SPECIFICALLY to be an obstructionist. What part of that are you two (Ed & AP) not getting? Are you saying in less than a month after coming into office he should go over a photo op with Pres. Obama on working on a compromise? He WON the seat held by the Kennedys over this very issue. Please, please, please let that sink in because it seems to me it hasn’t yet.

Sultry Beauty on February 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM

start over…no negotiations…just start from scratch1

FloridaMike on February 10, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I have listened to some of the GOP talk. I think they are on the right track.

The public DOES want reform, and we are now more than receptive to the GOP ideas.

Address pre-existing conditions from the federal level.
Address the industry problem of purging from the federal level.
Open up competition. Some think it will provide low-cost. Others don’t believe it. Let’s see.
Provide portability that’s reasonable for people.
Try tort reform as a cost-containment. It hasn’t proven to be nearly as effective as the GOP promises, but frankly, that’s their problem and their argument. Let’s see.

Push for reform.

AnninCA on February 10, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Take Rush’s advice and refuse to go.

Demand to solve the jobs problem first

Make speeches demanding any new spending programs be put on hold, until the jobs problem is resolved, because the American public is in crisis

Make speeches notifying the public that Social Security has gone into the red this year because of declining tax revenues. It was not supposed to go bust for years.

This is more important than the new health plan, and it will take Jobs to generate revenue for Social Security

We need workers, now, to save Social Security

And Government make work jobs do not increase tax revenues. That is simply re circulating government dollars, from make work worker, back into the Treasury.

On that note, make speeches demanding the NASA program continue to be funded because it is preserving 5000 or so jobs in the US and supporting a region that will collapse financilly if we ship those jobs overseas – because that is what will happen

The talk about handing over facilities to private investors to run rockets for us will give us a pathetic replacement for our national security needs. Does anyone think there will be the same number of jobs?

For those who are honest, make speeches talking about the fact that 80 percent of the 2 billion tax dollars dished out for wind turbine energy development through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has gone to foreign manufacturers, and created 6000 jobs overseas but only a few hundred jobs in the US

This new health care summit is another diversion from the real problem. We are in a nosedive

Save Social Security Now by focusing on Jobs First

They also ought to mention top PLA officers are pushing China to reduce purchase of US debt to stop our arms sales to Taiwan. They can do this because we are no longer making our own money with real jobs

entagor on February 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM

They aren’t proposing to seriously change the bill, aside from the photo op, they are proposing to bargain to get most of the existing bill through. “What will you take so I can get my way?”

If someone were to ask me to do such a meeting, I’d do a cost/benefit and risk assessment, plus consider my time.

The potential benefit is minimal, the risk is fairly high. I would NOT do the meeting. The ‘preconditions’ idea above has some merit. As it is, they are proposing another woolly discussion and a blame game.

jodetoad on February 10, 2010 at 12:51 PM


You know, of course, that two of those are already in the existing bills, along with some tort reform.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM
Which two?

And if you would, please explain the tort reform in the existing bills and how it will help. My understanding of the House bill is that the language specifically prohibits the medical malpractice caps that Texas has enacted.

Missy on February 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

–The Senate bill allows for the creation of state and interstate insurance exchanges (which is your items 2 and 4). The House bill provides for the creation of a national insurance exchange, but also allows states to band together to create regional exchanges.

The Senate bill also encourages states to find and test alternatives to the current civil litigation process. The House bill provides incentives to set those progams up, so long as they don’t cap awards or fees.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:04 PM

On that note, make speeches demanding the NASA program continue to be funded because it is preserving 5000 or so jobs in the US and supporting a region that will collapse financilly if we ship those jobs overseas – because that is what will happen

–So we should throw tons of taxpayers’ money at Florida because it will lose jobs? BS. Let Florida sink in the ocean.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM

They wrote the bills.

They voted on the bills.

They can’t agree on the bills.

What can a Republican do that would in any way help them get this passed?
Nothing.

Republicans can just provide someone to point the blame at.

That’s all Democrats are looking for is someone else to blame because that is how they role.

Democrats were never meant to govern.

Their only job in life is to complain.

And point at Republicans and say what bozos those Republicans are!

petunia on February 10, 2010 at 1:27 PM

jodetoad on February 10, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Exactly! What is gained from the meeting? Nothing.

What is lost? Nothing.

Oh dear the Democrats might call them obstructionists! Oh dear that would be bad.

petunia on February 10, 2010 at 1:29 PM

jodetoad on February 10, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Exactly! What is gained from the meeting? Nothing.

What is lost? Nothing.

Oh dear the Democrats might call them obstructionists! Oh dear that would be bad.

petunia on February 10, 2010 at 1:29 PM

–People like me, the media and people on the street might see them as cowards for not attending. Which would be the truth.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Republican leadership, go to Health Care summit with tax cutting jobs bill.

Obama said jobs were his top priority, remind him of yours.

Angry Dumbo on February 10, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:04 PM

That’s what I thought.

Re: tort reform, if fees aren’t capped, the “reform” is toothless. It’s toothless anyway since all the bills do is provide “incentives” for states to “find and test alternatives.” Please. Holding this up as actual tort reform is a joke.

National and regional insurance exchanges would set mandates for coverage, compensation to doctors for services etc. This will not allow people to shop across state lines for lower cost insurance – quite the opposite. It will make plans more rigid and less competitive because each plan will have to comply with the rules set out by the exchanges. This will result in porking up the mandates, just as has happened in MA under Romneycare, and premiums/costs will go up.

You keep bringing up these points about the existing bills, but they are really meaningless.

Missy on February 10, 2010 at 1:40 PM

–People like me, the media and people on the street might see them as cowards for not attending. Which would be the truth.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM

People like you are nowhere near the media and the people on the street.

unclesmrgol on February 10, 2010 at 2:02 PM

People like me, the media and people on the street might see them as cowards for not attending. Which would be the truth.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM
People like you are nowhere near the media and the people on the street.

unclesmrgol on February 10, 2010 at 2:02 PM

From the article: Nearly six in 10 in the new poll say the Republicans aren’t doing enough to forge compromise with President Obama on important issues

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Then let the Jimbos of the world take care of their own health care insurance. If they don’t want to do that on their own then let them sink into the ocean because it’s not all about what Jimbos want.

Sultry Beauty on February 10, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Yes, and Blue Collar, Blue as Blue Democrats voted to replace a Kennedy with #41. What was #41 specifically about? Being an obstructionist to this very thing. One poll doesn’t change that as much as the Jimbos of the world would like us to believe.

Sultry Beauty on February 10, 2010 at 3:51 PM

petunia on February 10, 2010 at 1:29 PM

And people like me would look at them as cowards who lick their finger like Clinton use to do and change with the polling data wind rather be principled. They would be cowards for letting Democrats, the WH, and the MSM bully them into doing something that they are against. Contrary to certain views, some of us are not in the belief that health care requires any reforms. At least none that the Democrats would ever agree with such as tort reform.

Sultry Beauty on February 10, 2010 at 4:07 PM

–People like me, the media and people on the street might see them as cowards for not attending. Which would be the truth.

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM

People like you are gonna call republicans every nasty name in the book out of sheer unadulterated hatred, nothing more. It matters not what any republican ever does, you will always hate them for no more reason than they are republicans.

The rats in your party didn’t need or care about republican input up to this point, if you’re stupid enough to think they care about it now you’re dumber than I thought (which is REALLY saying something).

runawayyyy on February 10, 2010 at 4:23 PM

This is why they should not go. Having this thread and the other one makes things seem a little disjointed. I really don’t think when Ed’s talking about understanding why Pres. Obama wants to talk to Republicans he doesn’t get how it fits in with the questioning AP puts here. It’s kind of sad that people choose to ignore the simple facts. The fact is we’ve been here and done that. The only reason to go back to this is to breath life into something we all felt ecstatic conqueror when #41 got elected. I guess you must be feeling the economic pains too and just wanna push something juicy for people to continue to get worked up about.

Sultry Beauty on February 10, 2010 at 4:47 PM

From the article: Nearly six in 10 in the new poll say the Republicans aren’t doing enough to forge compromise with President Obama on important issues

Jimbo3 on February 10, 2010 at 2:43 PM

You mean this poll?

unclesmrgol on February 10, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Hey Repubs – This is a great opportunity to put your strong interest in the American people on display to the world. Go in there positively and professionally and forcefully. Lay out your plan. Describe how it in fact is best and very briefly tell the world WHY the non-existent plan they claim to have is NOT good for America. Do we have NO ONE that can talk this way and articulate the benefits of our plan and the savings in taxes for America??? Come on, this is a great chance to politely show our stuff. Get in there, don’t miss the chance and describe our plan AND our plans for jobs which includes reduced government and reduced taxes. Take also, while you are at it a shot at the planned axing of the Bush tax cuts. Describe to this idiot that doing so is the same as RAISING taxes. Duh Obama. Come on you Repub Senators. Do IT. At the end of the day you do NOT have to accept his stupid plan and simply say “with all due respect” this is NOT the best plan for America and we will be unable to support such a program. If you honestly wish to have bipartisan input here we are. As of now your plan is DOA!!! We will give you an opportunity to revive it by building a plan around tort reform and removal of out of state bans on sales just for starters.

highninside on February 10, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Is the GOP planning to attend Obama’s health care “summit” or not?

Why bother, with Pelosi’s strategy now out in the open?

olesparkie on February 11, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It would be dishonest to go.

Fundamentally, the bill(s) that the Democrats are currently floating are in such diametric opposition to anything a limited governmenter could support that to create a bill that we could support would require them being rent down beyond their bones, and completely re-written in all major particulars.

That’s not on the table, and since it isn’t, there is no possibility of them reaching a compromise. To enter into a negotiation for something you know that you cannot do is simply not honest, so do not go, appearances be damned.

Voyager on February 12, 2010 at 4:12 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3