Health Care Summit Analysis: Closing thoughts
Washington Post reporters broke down the key flashpoints in real time as Republicans and Democrats shared their competing visions of health-care legislation.
5:25 p.m. | It's a wrap
And, we're done. Roughly seven hours after it began, the Great Health Care Summit of 2010 has come to a close. In the end, there's little sign that the two parties are any closer together than they were before, or that there's any more likelihood of a bipartisan deal today than there was yesterday. Did you change your mind about the issue today? Or at least learn something you didn't know? Sound off in the comments section below.
Thanks very much for reading and watching with us. For all the after-action coverage of this summit and and the reform issue going forward, be sure to bookmark the Post's dedicated health-care page.
5:24 p.m. | The extent of public health programs
Obama just made a misstatement that he has made before: that there are more people now covered by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid than by private insurance. He used the factoid to argue that government already plays a big role in health care, even before the Democratic legislation has gone into effect. It's true that public health programs have grown, but his factoid is way off. He is probably referring to a recent report that there will soon be more public spending on health care than private spending. But that is different than saying that more people are enrolled in public coverage than private -- there are still tens of millions more in private plans. Why the discrepancy? The people in public programs cost more -- they are the old and disabled. So even though there are fewer of them, they will soon be driving a majority of the spending. Factcheck.org caught this mistake by Obama the first time around.
5:24 p.m. | More from Obama's close
An invitation to act that is unlikely ever to get an RSVP:
"I'd like the Republicans to do a little soul searching." The American people "don't want us to wait. They can't afford another five decades."
"Politically speaking, there may not be any reason for Republicans to want to do something... I don't need a poll to know that most of Republican voters are opposed to this bill and might be opposed to the kind of compromise we could craft. It might be very hard politically for you to do this. But I think it was worthwhile to make this effort."