The Health Care Summit

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February 25, 2010 | Comments

I’m not sure what to say about the summit today. I didn’t watch the whole thing (did anyone?), but what I saw…well…like I said, not sure what to say.

What I did see made me laugh. I can say that. The congressional representatives in attendance took the opportunity to regale whoever their audience was with well-scripted statements and talking points, while, with or without audio, the President, a man who seems capable only of giving campaign speeches and calling summits (beer and otherwise), looked bored, petulant, perturbed.

The President seemed downright annoyed, sometimes angry. This wasn’t part of his plan. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He figured months ago that all he needed to do was mesmerize us with his voice as he painted a beautiful picture of his oh-so-compassionate plan to take control of our health care. According to his plan, it would all proceed seamlessly, without protest, with very little attention to detail even. But it didn’t. And now, if we’re lucky, it may not happen at all.

Way back when, this President promised us that health care, and every issue tackled by his administration, would be presented publicly and transparently. They haven’t been, and he has been called on it. Again and again. Not his fault, of course. America just wouldn’t cooperate. So today, he had to follow through with that promise of televised transparency. And he was not happy about it. Didn’t want to be there. Didn’t want to share the microphone. Didn’t want to share the camera. He was miffed. Even though it was his idea.

The bright side, I would say, was that the conservatives in attendance decided not to play nice-nice, not to reach across the aisle. They took the opportunity instead to publicize their previously arrogantly-ignored ideas — tort reform, insurance portability – and their abject opposition to the presidential/congressional attempt to seize control of America’s health care system.

Other high points:

Republican Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) stacking 2400 pages worth of House and Senate health-care-bill pages before him on the summit table – and the President chastising him for bringing “props” to the summit.

The endless sob stories presented by attending democrats to illustrate the critical need to turn the control of our health care and, thus, the most intimate details of our private lives over to the government. Their attempts to outdo each other with tragic tales became laughable.

In response to charges that democrats were given the floor more than republicans (ultimately confirmed by the democrats’ 233 minutes to the republicans’ 114), the President commented in the classic arrogant tone to which we have all become so accustomed: “I don’t count my time, because I’m the President.”

So what was accomplished at the summit? Well, on its face, nothing I guess, other than finally giving voice to republicans and conservatives (not necessarily the same) and their health-care ideas that have been conveniently ignored by those on the other side of the aisle since January of 2009. I suppose we should be grateful that nothing legislatively was accomplished. We simply can’t afford it, and those who supposedly represent us in Washington are finally having to hear our call.

Thanks to we the people; thanks to the voices raised by those courageous Americans at the town halls last summer; thanks to viewpoints presented on the internet that have drowned out the agenda promoted by the so-called mainstream media; and thanks to the voters of Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, we will not and cannot be ignored any longer. Those who wish to “fundamentally transform America” are being forced into the spotlight to plead their case, along with those who may not share the full force of their agenda, but, for whatever reason (threats perhaps?), have voted for it anyway.

So, viewed in this light, I suppose today’s summit can legitimately be labeled a success for those of wish to see this would-be attempt to socialize and ration America’s health care defanged, destroyed and forgotten once and for all. Yet I frankly doubt many people even watched the summit. I would imagine there were chunks of time when even the participants (el presidente included) wished they could have been somewhere, anywhere else but at that table at the Blair House. Indeed as he looks back at the proceedings of the day, I have a feeling even the President himself is wishing he had never come up with this “brilliant” idea in the first place.

So for now, stay tuned. There will be more to come, I’m sure. And we must remain on our guard.

Betsy Siino | Comments