Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Obama's health care summit: Just for show?

Could this turn into something more than political theater? President Barack Obama's televised dialogue with Republican lawmakers on health care, promised for later this month, has the makings of an entertaining exchange. But the differences between the basic Democratic and GOP ideas are stark—and the two sides have increasingly hardened their positions in this election year. Yet, in a story with more twists than a soap opera, Obama's invitation to congressional leaders of both parties to attend a Feb. 25 meeting can't be dismissed as a mere diversion. Although many Americans have doubts about the Democrats' sweeping plans to cover the uninsured, Republicans can't afford to be perceived as oblivious to the health care insecurities of middle-class families.

"My expectations? Probably below 50 percent, but not zero," said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., a moderate who serves as president of the Democratic freshman class. "At some point, the public is going to demand that Republicans participate like mature adults, and not just say 'no' to everything." READ MORE...

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