Having watched every minute of the health care summit, I have to disagree with my co-bloggers. I think that Republicans have been, generally speaking, handling this very well. I’ve been very critical of the GOP throughout the health care debate, but Republicans have consistently made fact-based arguments on why President Obama’s plan will make our health care system’s problems worse, presented other ideas, and made the case for scrapping the current highly unpopular bill and taking a different approach. Paul Ryan just completely eviscerated the Democratic claims that the Senate health care bill would contain costs and reduce deficits, outlining the accounting gimmicks that Democrats used, as well as the actuarial study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found the Senate bill would actually increase health care spending. Chuck Grassley, while not the whiz kid that Ryan is, followed up by noting a CBO report that found Democrats cannot double-count the savings from the Medicare cuts to claim it will both reduce deficits and extend the solvency of the program both at the same time.
Conservatives need to chill out. The Democrats have lost this argument on the merits. A new CNN poll finds that just 25 percent of Americans want Congress to pass a bill along the lines of the House and Senate bills. Nothing I’ve seen today makes me to believe that this will change. The only question now is whether Democrats can convince enough of their members to take suicide votes to ram through legislation that has been overwhelming rejected by the American people.