The Debate about the Health Care Debate

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Republican Congressional leadership, including Rep. John Boehner (L), Sen. Jon Kyl (2nd R) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R) speak about the upcoming healthcare summit with President Obama (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

President Obama's bipartisan health care summit begins later this morning, but the bickering started weeks ago. Arguments between Republicans and Democrats over what kind of table will be used, the seating arrangements, the frequency of coffee breaks and other minutiae are starting to take center stage even before the conversation about whether or how to reform health care.

Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, talks about the importance of pageantry in events like this, and whether President Obama can hope to repeat the success he had at a House Republican conference last month in Baltimore. We also have Jonathan Cohn, senior editor for The New Republic, to talk about what he's expecting from this summit, and what President Obama and the Republicans need to do to actually get things done.


Jonathan Cohn and Darrell West

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

Comments [2]

Andrea from Scarsdale, NY

Why the TV cameras? Why at this meeting but not at any prior meetings (and there were so many)?

If President Obama were serious he'd eliminate the TV cameras and really try to negotiate.

Feb. 25 2010 09:30 AM
Ed H. from Larchmont, NY

The summi is probably a smoke screen: when the Democratic Party tries to use budget reconciliation to pass the bill in the Senate, and other devices in the House, they will say that they tried bi-partisanship, but it didn't work. Bipartisanship here means: here is the bill, will you accept it? The bill still funds abortions.

Feb. 25 2010 08:03 AM

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