Healthcare summit, or healthcare nadir?

There was a big meeting at the Blair House in Washington DC yesterday. They called it a “summit”. It was a healthcare summit. A summit is one of those fancy words that sounds important, and it has two meanings: it means a “high point”, or a “meeting of the heads of government”. In this case, the “Healthcare Summit 2010” was supposed to be both: a meeting of government bigwigs that was of the highest importance to get things done.

As usual, all these big shot governmental leaders got together over the promise that they would make progress on healthcare reform. They were going to all come together to voice their ideas on how to reform the embarrassment we call the “American Healthcare System”. And predictably, they all got together and bickered, and whined, and postured, and pouted, and accused, and misstated the facts. And they brought their props, and their canned party lines, and their baggage.

And nothing got done.

Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) brought the 2,000 page House bill and plopped it on the desk in front of him. He’s never read the damn thing, but he had it sitting there as if to make the silent point that the bill is too big, and therefore it costs too much.

John Boehner (R-Ohio) kept saying that we needed to start over “with a clean sheet of paper”. Sorry, the only thing the Republicans have contributed to the process is exactly that–a clean sheet of paper. Like the kind of paper that average American citizens could wipe their butts with. Republicans didn’t bring any new ideas, but they brought the clean sheet of paper.

And then there was Johnny-on-the-spot McCain (R-Arizona) whining about the fact that it took the President a year to get this process on TV. McCain is so full of sour grapes about losing the 2008 election that he can’t do anything but moan and groan about process and procedure. He doesn’t care about actually getting things done, he only cares about nitpicking the politics–just like when he was running for President. To paraphrase President Obama: “Sorry John, the campaign is over, and you lost. Now please go away unless you are willing to help.”

And the Democrats were full of their own stupidity. Their party line is to keep on saying “we are closer than people realize” to getting things done. If the Democrats were only “closer” amongst themselves, this reform would have passed in the fall.

So please don’t call it a summit. There was no high point. Nothing got done. And to this voter it was the opposite of a summit. It was a deep, deep nadir. Defined as “the lowest point in the fortunes of a person or organization”.

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