Today marks a turning point for either the Republican Party or the Obama Administration and the Democrats. Both sides of the aisle will participate in a “bipartisan” health care summit. President Obama was billed the summit as an opportunity to “seek common ground” on legislation that will reign in health care’s soaring costs.
President Obama and his Administration released a framework proposal on which today’s summit will focus. Nevertheless, the controversy has mounted around the rumors that the Democrats might resort to a parliamentary tactic called “reconciliation.”
These rumors have spurred critics, for example, Georgia Rep. Tom Price says, “I’m not certain what the White House is up to, but it appears they are trying to meld a bill together without, again, any input from Republicans. It doesn’t sound like bipartisanship…I’m afraid it’s just another photo op.”
This summit will be pivotal as both parties seek to gain an advantage heading into the 2010-midterm elections. Centrist Democrats, especially ones in the House, will face a tough decision at the end of the day. Public sentiment is not in favor of health care reform and you can guarantee that the Republicans will cite votes on the health care legislation in their ads and mail pieces against Democrats in “toss-up” districts.
For Democrats, this legislative victory is imperative to stop the bleeding of losses in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Democrats recognize that many of the proposals that President Obama campaigned on in 2008 are uncertain if the midterms do not shape up in their favor.
I, for one, will be watching the summit and following the conversation on Twitter to see how it shapes up. The real question is whether this summit is truly an attempt at bipartisanship by either party or just a photo op with a sound bite of “gotcha” at the end of the day.
Let us know what you think after the summit concludes. In your opinion, is the summit just political show or a chance for real reform?