President Obama has released his revised plan for health care just days before a televised summit that would bring together Congressional leaders of both parties to debate the health care bill. Obama’s plan is a $1 trillion, ten-year compromise that includes many major provisions backed by Congressional Democrats, leaving out the public option that nearly stalled health care reform in the Senate. It would allow the bill to be passed via budget reconciliation, requiring a simple majority vote in the Senate – and not the 60-vote super-majority the Democrats lost with the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Congressional Democrats have been cautiously optimistic so far, but House Republican Leader John Boehner says the president has “crippled the credibility of this week’s summit” by releasing the details of his plan. Is this the shape of health care to come? Is Obama trying to rise above partisan politics, or will this drive Democrats and Republicans back to their familiar corners?
Jamie Court, President, Consumer Watchdog
Mike Tanner, Senior Policy Analyst, Cato Institute