Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care Summit

President Obama will try to re-launch his stalled health care overhaul today by hosting a televised summit with Congressional leaders to discuss the bill.
Mr. Obama says he wants to hear Republican ideas, but the head of Pennsylvania’s GOP says he doesn’t think the president is sincere.
The President will sit down with top Republicans and Democrats to talk about the future of his health care package, which has stalled since Democrats lost their Senate supermajority last month.
The White House says it’s serious about soliciting input from the GOP, but Pennsylvania Republican Chairman Rob Gleason says he doesn’t buy that.

"I don’t trust the White House on that. I think it is a publicity stunt. I think he’s trying to fool the people by doing this. He’s trying to embarrass the Republican Party. They call us the party of no, but we have a lot of good ideas."

Democratic state Representative Josh Shapiro, who sits on a panel of state legislators who advise the White House on health care issues, says it’s “nonsense” to suggest Mr. Obama is trying to trap Republican leaders by asking for their input on legislation.
He says he’s confident a bill will be signed into law this year, saying the country’s present health care system is too expensive and unsustainable. He also says he’s confident a measure will be signed into law this year.

"We are somewhere between second and third and goal. And it’s time to get this done, but get it done responsibly, and with Republican input. And the president has established a forum to do that tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to the discussion."

There’s some debate over whether Senate Democrats can use a maneuver called “reconciliation” in order to bypass a filibuster. Supporters of the tactic point out several landmark bills, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program and COBRA, have been passed this way. The White House claims the package will provide coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans.

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