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Media Reactions to the Health Care Summit

Powerline has an interesting post that collects a few reactions to the health care summit by media analysts. It should be noted that these reactions were handpicked by the House Republican Conference Press Office, so they are undoubtedly biased. But considering the sources are people like Gloria Borger and Wolf Blitzer--people who rarely side with the conservative point of view--that in itself says something. Follow the link above to read all th reactions but here are a couple of the more interesting ones. The first is from Gloria Borger of CNN.

The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.

They took on the substance of a very complex issue. ... But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.

They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.

The second reaction is from David Gergen, also of CNN.
The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.
Paul at Powerline offers this analysis:
One of the problems for President Obama may have been that he had to take on all comers without much real help from his fellow Democrats. Obama is quite good at this sort of exchange, and seems to have shown it again today. But the Republicans kept throwing fresh and usually reasonably bright and/or attractive faces at him. The Democrats had to let Reid and Pelosi [UPDATE: and Joe Biden) speak, and neither is fresh, attractive, or especially bright.
Some pundits worried that the summit was a trap and counseled that the Republicans should not attend. In the end it would seem that the decision to attend was the correct one. If they had refused to attend it could have easily have been spun as showing a lack of interest in health care reform. Instead they showed both interest and a command of the issues.

Despite my cautious nature and general fear that something is going to get rammed through regardless of how strong public opinion is against it, I think that today's results lessen the chance that the current bills before Congress will ever make into law.


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Comments (32)

"...they showed both intere... (Below threshold)

"...they showed both interest and a command of the issues."

And after months of painting them as just the opposite, the MSM had to show they knew what they were talking about. What did the Democrats present, besides sob stories? When directly challenged on cost and coverage estimates, they had NO response.

Rahm is probably hanging the staffer who came up with this 'summit' idea, as we speak.

#1: So Rahm's committing s... (Below threshold)

#1: So Rahm's committing suicide? Is it on pay-per-view?

The real question is how ma... (Below threshold)
Don L:

The real question is how many GOP pols are willing to vote for son of Obamacare?

Shep Smith is acting like the looney liberal he is -worring that were gonna lose it all now.

Paul Ryan "smacked" the 0 u... (Below threshold)
Jay Nordlinger over at NRO ... (Below threshold)

Jay Nordlinger over at NRO sums it up like this:

Let me try something out on you: This health-care summit was a bad idea for the Democrats for this reason: They have long benefited from a perception -- a perception greatly abetted by the media: The Republicans don't care about health care, they don't know about health care, they are the Party of No. All the ideas and caring are on the Democratic side.

It is not so, and it has never been so. And now everybody knows it.

It was a trap and if... (Below threshold)

It was a trap and if the Republicans would have shown up with their heads down and not willing to engage in battle, they would have been part of a big Democrat's propaganda machine. Fortunately they didn't. IMO in great part due to the pressure many put on them prior to the "summit".

It was indeed a trap and th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It was indeed a trap and the Obama team once again drastically overplayed their hand and telegraphed their intentions.

Everyone understood that Obama's intent was to provide some BS media cover to ramming healthcare through via reconciliation.

Everyone expected the GOP to cave and go into their traditional media suck up mode and not show that they actually believed in the positions they were previously advocating.

To my surprise and general relief, they are showing some backbone. They actually came to fight and while Obama has a sack full of platitudes the GOP has actual facts and arguments. Obama is being made to look like the empty ideologue that he is and the administration has been caught flat footed by the refusal of the GOP to collapse in a quivering heap (as they usually do in anything on national television).

I only hope that the GOP will continue to show this new firmness of conviction.

It wasn't a fair contest fr... (Below threshold)

It wasn't a fair contest from the start. The GOP had the advantage on the policy itself. As long as they were able to present and compare theirs to Obama's - it was an easy win.

I actually am very surprise... (Below threshold)

I actually am very surprised how well prepared and determined the republican reps were. Since Obama was sitting at a table with others, he was diminished and his charm did not work. Reid sounded like a cranky old man. Pelosi looked like she is perpetually surprised. Durbin actually said tort reform would only save 5.5 billion dollars. Even though his number is way off, it does demonstrate how cavalier liberals are with money. Also, the example he gave of a patient who caught fire during a routive procedure in the OR couldn't collect money if the republicans had their way. Again, Durbin is banking on the stupidity of his electorate. The hospital would have been liable. Almost all hospital fires are in the operating room and the patients themselves catch on fire. I really wish the liberals would get a clue in regards to the business of medicine. ww

From the clips I've seen, O... (Below threshold)

From the clips I've seen, Obama came across as incredibly arrogant and peevish. I can't believe many people view that favorably in a President.

except that the A/P is alre... (Below threshold)

except that the A/P is already spinning it that the Republicans were focused ONLY on "starting over" and the "blank sheet of paper" comment.

the spin will build that the Dems MUST "go it alone". And yes, Barry "O", the November elections WILL tell you who was right!

The health care summit was ... (Below threshold)

The health care summit was the Waterloo for the boondoggle known as ObamaCare. It should now be plain for all to see that what the Dems were really after. That was a massive power grab. It also shows that the Republicans are the party of ideas, while the Dems were flailing around, like the strikeout artist on a baseball team. This was also a new view of the Republicans that bodes well for November, when the Dems are swept out of both houses.

Steve Green (has he even sh... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Steve Green (has he even shown his face lately?) before you come spew your liberal mime remember that the dems can pass healthcare without any help from the republicans. The dems in the house just have to vote for the senate bill. You cant blame the party of no ( go republicans) if healthcare doesnt pass.

Justrand,Yeah, the... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Yeah, the spin will build that the dems have to go it alone, but not because the GOP doesn't have ideas, and not because the GOP has said that nothing should be done.

Obama has blundered here. The GOP's preparedness and success in pointing out in clear terms that Obama's plan is too expensive and will necessarily hurt the elderly and the poor by destroying medicare and medicaid will make it very difficult for him to go it alone.

I doubt that Pelosi can get the requisite number of votes to pass the house now. This has made House passage more difficult not less.

Obama's plan was unpopular to begin with and the GOP has been given a national platform to show it detail what's wrong with it. The only hope for Obama is that the dems would in some way convince the 40 or more congressmen who will lose their seats anyway that they should take one for the team. Of course that presupposes that these dems who will lose in November have no interest in politics after this year. Even Reid is facing likely defeat this year. Forcing healthcare through via reconciliation will be the final nail in the coffin for him (if that hasn't been done yet). I doubt that he will force reconciliation on health care if he has a close race.

I think it was very telling that Obama was pretty much left to twist in the wind by his fellow dems and did not get much in terms of vocal support from his party members.

Obama gave his answer at th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Obama gave his answer at the end of the meeting. He expected the GOP to cave and is demanding that all the 'effort' be in their compromise.

He basically declared that in 6 weeks they will try to ram it through as is. He made another "I Won" statement and expects that winning the election means that his views are the only ones that matter. He seems to always forget that 535 other politicians in DC won elections and not all of them agree with him.

Logically it would suggest that the 47% of Americans who didn't vote for the One elected some of those GOP congressmen and Senators and just maybe those elected officials owe it to their constituents to oppose the One's BS.

We'll soon see how many Con... (Below threshold)

We'll soon see how many Congressmen and Senators are willing to commit seppuku to enhance Barry's aura. I'm thinking the ol' self-preservation mode will kick in and Barry will be left under the bus with the logo "ObamaCare" on it.

GarandFan and jim m, your l... (Below threshold)

GarandFan and jim m, your last two posts nail the situation perfectly!

it's time for some "enlightened self-ineterest" on the part of the Dems who have labored under the overseer's lash!

Where's bryanD? SAUD? Steve... (Below threshold)

Where's bryanD? SAUD? Steve Sturm? No trolls on this thread? I was looking forward to it!

I have noticed in the past ... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

I have noticed in the past the lefty trolls tend to stay out of treads where they are likely to get their ass handed to them.
Like this one.

He sucked, She bucked!... (Below threshold)
914 jff 62:

He sucked, She bucked!

I'm in Europe now, so I did... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I'm in Europe now, so I didn´t see the summit, only a few soundbites. I have problems with a few of the Dem proposals, i.e like Obama was during the campaign, I'm not a fan of indivudual coercive mandates; for example, for those who are earning barely a living wage-there must be other way$, maybe extend basic minimal Medicaid for everyone that wants it- However, I´m struck by how in every other thread (but in healthcare), I hear the Wizbang mantra that ´the free market´ is the panacea.

Odd that the ´free healthcare market with its attendant high costs, has caused soaring private premiums in the US, so many individual bankrupticies, increased companies' competitive disadvantge to foreign corporations, failure to insure millions because of preexisting conditions, or American drugs that cost Americans twice as much as the same American drugs in Canada because there are no large 'socialized´ government negotiatating boards, with clout in the US.

America needs big reform, or if you will, many many, small reforms, so that the average American, or even those fortunate to be on a high income, are paying a lot less out of their pockets, if even a little more for taxes, for genuine healthcare, rather than for the overhead of big heathcare insurance companies, or on wasteful hospital practices.

I was not optimistic about ... (Below threshold)

I was not optimistic about this summit. I'm feeling a bit better about it now, but it's not done yet. We still have thieves and connivers up there in DC and they WILL stuff any legislation finally written and voted on with trojan horses, pork, and worst of all - good-intentioned regulation.

"Odd that the ´free healthcare market with its attendant high costs, has caused soaring private premiums in the US.."

Be a little more honest and admit there are many factors which cause premiums to rise and it's not just greed on the part of the the companies:

The cost of malpractice insurance is one reason physicians and hospitals charge higher prices. And how do you think they make up the difference between the actual cost of providing healthcare and what medicaid and medicare pays for providing that care? They charge insurance companies more.

The underlying, and unsaid, part of Obamacare that declared that the cost of healthcare would go down was because they fully intended to force everyone onto the government plan by hook or crook and the sooner the better. That way THEY control the cost because THEY control what is paid. And like any product out there, the less you pay the poorer the quality.

Don't get sick while you're... (Below threshold)

Don't get sick while you're there steve. You will have to be like the Canadien prime minister rushing to the U.S. for your operation.

Steve Sturm: If you ... (Below threshold)

Steve Sturm:
If you think the current health care delivery system in the US is anything close to a true free market system, you are seriously deluded. It is perhaps the most heavily regulated activity in our entire economy. And regulation ALWAYS distorts an economic activity.

One of the largest expenses of any insurance company (after claims and before profits) is the cost of defending and/or settling lawsuits. Most of these have little merit and only end up enriching the trial attorneys. Tort reform would be a two-fer, reducing both heath care and insurance costs.

Crickmore:The free... (Below threshold)
jim m:


The free market is not what causes the high costs in health care.

It's regulation and litigousness that create the high costs.

Regulation means that insurance companies cannotpool risks across state lines making policy premiums more expemsive.

Regulation means that every scrap of note paper with a patient name or record number, no matter how obscure the reference, needs to be deposited in secure wasts and destroyed at considerable expense.

Regulation means that every record my department has needs to be kept for a minimum of 7 years and many of them need to be kept FOREVER! That's 100,000's of documents every year that need to be collected processed and stored. warehouses aren't free, but that is what you pay for with your health care dollar.

Tort reform would reduce costs by reducing defensive medicine and unnecessary lab tests. It would reduce mal pratice insurance costs that are passed on to consumers.

Drugs are available in Canada and elsewhere in the world BECAUSE we pay more here in the US. Canada dictates the price of drugs via government price controls. If you do that in the US you will take away the ability of drug companies to 1) provide their products in poor countries where they cannot afford the cost of the drugs and 2) reduce or eliminate innovation and new drug development.

There is a reason that few if any drugs are developed overseas any more. Nearly all drug companies have an American subsidiary where they conduct their research and devlopment. Without a free market in America much of the advancement in the last 2 to 3 decades simply would not have taken place.

So if you are interested in seeing more cures developed and better drugs developed you can forget about government controls. Government controls burden the system and destroy innovation. You want to cover pre-existing conditions cheaply? Get rid of the government regulation that prevents insurance companies from doing more to pool risk. Shared risk means lower costs for everyone.

Steve, you have made a fail... (Below threshold)

Steve, you have made a failed assumption. The US does not now have a free market in healthcare, and does not want a free market in healthcare. (For example, in a free market, there would be no regulation on who could become a doctor, nor any regulation on drug purity, efficacy, etc.) I think that a lot of people would like a freer health care market, with fewer and simpler regulations and fewer price distortions caused by the Federal thumb on the scales. The Democrats' proposals involve taking all the things that are wrong with the health care system we have, and amping them up to eleven, while driving out the few free market bits that remain. If you define "work" as lowering costs while maintaining standards of care, or maintaining costs while raising standards of care, the Democrats' proposals won't work: they'll increase costs and reduce standards of care.

A brief aside: what is the least regulated and insured aspect of health care (for humans) in the US? Plastic surgery. Now, what is the one area of medicine where prices have steadily gone down over time while standards of efficacy have increased? Take your time. Or how about veterinary medicine? Veterinarians have nearly the same level of training and commitment as doctors. What is happening in veterinary medicine? Despite the increasingly sophisticated care available, no cost spirals. Hmm...

OK, you want to know what will work? Try this:

  • Eliminate the tax deduction for businesses on health insurance.
  • Make all health care expenditures pre-tax.
  • Eliminate the state oversight of medical insurance and move that to the Federal government, so that insurance companies can compete across state lines and to remove a large layer of bureaucracy to comply with.
  • Force all health care providers to publicly list their statistics. (So that patients can shop around.)
  • Have no mandates on what health care coverage must or may not cover.
  • Reform malpractice laws to remove the frivolous suits. Easy way: make it so that punitive damages are paid not to the patient/survivors/lawyers (mostly the lawyers), but to the Treasury. This would reduce the incentive for going after anything but egregious violations, and recovery of costs for ordinary problems.
  • Combine Medicare and Medicaid and S-CHIP and the like into a single government program. Uncap the Medicare income limit for tax liability. Make the new program cover basic medical services for those whose income and wealth are below certain levels, as well as certain more advanced services that are shown to have significant benefits to quality of life or length of life. (IE, don't cover viagra or abortion out of this program, but do cover cancer care)
  • Separate the war on drugs from the medical system. Stop punishing people for actually getting pain relief when they are in pain. Stop making it difficult to get useful drugs (like pseudoephedrine) just because they could potentially be used to manufacture illegal drugs; handle that elsewhere.
  • Make it easier to open up and run hospitals and medical schools, to increase the supply of health care available.

Do these things, and costs will come down, or at least not rise faster than inflation, while standards of care will stay steady or increase.

It's not an ambush if the e... (Below threshold)

It's not an ambush if the enemy warns you ahead of time and your team is able to prepare for the battle.

Anyone who thinks that the ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Anyone who thinks that the free market is what causes high prices needs to read--and understand--Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics and Applied Economics.

Pretty cool - there's more ... (Below threshold)

Pretty cool - there's more intellect and understanding of the concepts in this thread alone than the entire donk side of Congress - even after accounting for Crickmore's foolishness.

Hey Crickmore - how will you ever pay less out-of-pocket when you have increased taxes? What happens when the Jug-Eared Douche and crew rack up another couple of trillion in debt, China quits buying it, and we have increasing inflation? The ones hit hardest will be the 'living wage' types.

Why do you want to destroy low-income families?

~SIGH~ Bryan, the "100+amen... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

~SIGH~ Bryan, the "100+amendments" were small potatoes stuff. The oppposition centers on the big things, to wit, the government screwing with 1/6 of the economy and everyone's medical care.

Bryan - ?? "Victims"? OK. w... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Bryan - ?? "Victims"? OK. whatever. Thanks for the arrogance.

The passage into law of thi... (Below threshold)

The passage into law of this massive fraud would provide the radical left with virtually limitless power and control over every facet of 300 million lives. That is why these people are willing to sacrifice 20, 30, 40, 50--ANY number of democrat house and senate seats. The enslavement of the American people is WORTH it to them!! And that is what Husseincare has always been about. So look for the worst to happen. Because it translates into the "best" for the America hating, fascist left.






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