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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care Summit Live - Opening Remarks

February 25th, 2010

It's been more formal so far than I had hoped. It would appear they are heading into the meat of the matter. I want to hear more specifics.

Reid : "If you have a better idea, let's hear it."

Reid : "750,000 bankruptcies in 2008" due to health care costs.

The gloves are coming off. Reid: "We are not talking about reconciliation. You are." "It's a different set of facts than the reality." "The bill on the floor that my friend Lamar is lamenting has significant Republican input."

Reid : "You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own 'facts'"

Enter Harry Reid. Whoa. Folksy-left to rebut Alexander's folksy-right. A lot of anecdotal argument so far.

Pelosi has suggested that unless this bill passes, Medicare cannot survive. I tend to agree.

Pelosi has just suggested that innovation is hampered by citizens who are "job-locked" for fear that they will lose health care. Very interesting.

Pelosi : "I have seen grown men cry" for lack of health care.

The invocation of the late Senator Kennedy is a risky move for the American Center.

Pelosi has begun.

Lamar just quoted De Tocqueville. The "tyranny of the majority" is not the problem in our senate. The tyranny of the minority and an almost European Parliamentary abuse of our system is.

Same old republican allegation that doctors leave the "rural counties"(decent people) for the "big cities"(uh-oh) because of "malpractice abuse" and not because of the radical drop in doctors going into general practice.

Alexander : "We've come to the conclusion that we don't do 'comprehensive' well." He also just used the anti-intellectual code words that this kind of plan "works in the classroom" but not the real world.

Alexander is being nauseatingly folksy. He just compared the debate process to the Detroit auto show. "More Taxes, more subsidies, more spending"

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R- Tennessee): "We want you to succeed." It's hard to determine if this is genuine yet.

Obama:"If we've got an open mind...we might be able to make some progress." Easier said than done.

The Republicans actually look kinda scared without their usual floor posturing.

There's no doubt who's in charge of the room. Impressive and clear so far.

Obama just remarked, "I've got a doctor right downstairs."

The President has just addressed the current wave of extreme rate increases. As a first specific. it's a smart place to start.

10:04am Eastern
A gracious entrance by the President. The room is all smiles. We shall see if it lasts.

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