Examiner Editorial; Democrats pitch hokum health care summit 

A couple of Washington, D.C.’s most familiar con jobs are now front and center of our national leaders’ approaches to two of the most critical issues facing the nation.

Frequently when the White House and Congress want to look like they are doing something concrete — when in fact they want to keep doing what they’ve been doing — they form a “bipartisan commission” or “task force” to study a problem and then recommend courses of action. Thus, President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are pushing for the creation of a bipartisan commission to study the federal government’s exploding deficits and national debt, and recommend solutions.

The objective, of course, is not to cut spending or the national debt, but rather to provide a rationale for increasing taxes so career politicians and bureaucrats can continue doing what they are doing.

Similarly, the president and Democratic congressional leaders have rallied around convening a nationally televised Feb. 25 “summit meeting.” And to create the appearance of bipartisanship, they challenged Republicans to bring their best ideas for achieving health care reform so common ground can be found and a consensus achieved.

The real objective here, however, is anything but finding common ground. Rather, it’s to jump-start another effort to enact the Democrats’ monstrous 2,700-page bill that would put federal bureaucrats in charge of what’s left of America’s private health care system. That much became clear only hours after Obama proposed the summit when White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president remains “adamant about passing comprehensive reform similar to the bills passed by the House and the Senate.”

The summit subterfuge was inadvertently revealed by Ron Pollack, Families USA executive director and a key White House ally, who told Politico that “the president wants to show his openness one last time before Congress completes their work on the bill.” Put another way, Obama is being Obama — saying he wants to work with Republicans in a bipartisan fashion while trying to use them as pawns in the nationalization of America’s doctors, hospitals, health insurance and medical schools.

Obama and congressional Democrats are thumbing their noses at the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and at the public opinion surveys that for months have shown large and growing majorities of Americans oppose government-run health care.

Truth is, Democrats don’t have a political alternative. In his State of the Union speech, Obama signaled what many considered a “pivot” to a job-creation agenda. But even before the White House had finished spinning the president’s populist shift, they faced up to an inconvenient truth. No jobs plan will do much to ease high unemployment before Democrats face voters in November. At least with health care, the Democrats can make it look as if they’re doing something.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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