Obama Plans Televised Health Care Summit to Persuade Republicans to Back Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Plans Televised Health Care Summit to Persuade Republicans to Back Bill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 8
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama is planning a televised health care summit later this month in an effort to salvage the pro-abortion government-run health care bill. The plan is an effort to revive his sagging polling numbers and that of the legislation that has seen just one Republican support it in Congress.

White House officials say the February 25 meeting is not an attempt to start over on the health care bill but is ostensibly a lobbying and public relations effort.

“I want to come back [after the Presidents Day congressional recess] and have a large meeting — Republicans and Democrats — to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward,” Obama told CBS anchor Katie Couric in a Sunday interview.

Obama claimed he wants to "look at the Republican ideas that are out there.”

“If we can go, step by step, through a series of these issues and arrive at some agreements, then, procedurally, there’s no reason why we can’t do it a lot faster the process took last year,” he said.

Politico reported on a White House follow-up statement saying, “What the president will not do is let this moment slip away. He hopes to have Republican support in doing so — but he is going to move forward on health reform.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed the idea but House Republican Leader John Boehner scoffed.

"Obviously, I am pleased that the White House finally seems interested in a real, bipartisan conversation on health care,” the pro-life lawmaker said. The problem with the Democrats’ health care bills is not that the American people don’t understand them; the American people do understand them, and they don’t like them.”

Philip Klein of the American Spectator, a conservative publication, called the health care summit idea a rehash of one form last year and a "shtick."

"Last March, President Obama held a health care summit at the White House in which the so-called ‘stakeholders’ gathered together to discuss solving the nation’s health care crisis along with a handful of Republicans and hand-picked ‘experts,’" he writes. "In reality it was a staged event that excluded those who have pushed for free market solutions."

"Now, almost a year later, Obama’s top domestic priority is on life support, and he’s again choosing to put on a show," Klein continues.

"The half-day event is scheduled for Feb. 25, and he’ll let C-SPAN cameras in. Yet like the first summit, this one is pure theater. In the weeks leading up to the event, which aims to show that Obama is being transparent and soliciting Republican ideas," Klein explains.

Klein says the fact that White House officials are not billing the summit as an attempt to start over on the health care bill as proof that it is designed to find support for the pro-abortion version floundering in Congress.

"This is a classic Obama move. Create the appearance that he’s doing one thing when in reality he’s doing the exact opposite," Klein concludes.

"Problem is, the public has already caught on to his shtick and can tell the difference between performance art and reality. I can’t see this changing the dynamics of the health care effort," he writes.

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