Why This Health-Care Summit Won't Be a Game Changer

Perhaps the most illuminating part of the health-care-reform summit wasn’t what happened at the Blair House, but what happened right afterward. Just moments after the summit ended, the Democratic leadership did a quick presser outside the White House where Sen. Harry Reid criticized Republicans for sticking to their talking points. A little while later the Republican leaders spoke from the same spot and went ahead and did just that. “Frankly, I was discouraged by the outcome,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, later adding, “I do not believe there will be any Republican support for this 2,700-page bill.”

Listening to callers to C-Span right after that, you heard pretty similar opinions among voters. No one seemed to be swayed. Depending on which party they identified with, this was either a case of the Democrats courageously moving forward or ramming unpopular legislation down the country's collective throat.

Perhaps the one thing everyone could agree on was a phrase we heard over and over again, from members of both parties: we have serious philosophical differences.

At the end of the summit, my halftime analysis still stands: this summit is not a game changer. We’ll see how the story spins in the next few days, but my immediate postgame read is that neither party won this sparring match. Instead, we're in the same place we were when the debate started at 10 this morning: the Republicans adamantly opposed, the Democrats fully intent on pushing forward, and the voters camped out on both sides of the issue.

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