“If President Barack Obama really wanted to show he’s serious about winning over Republicans on health care reform, he could offer up some key concessions at Thursday’s summit, like caps on malpractice awards or allowing insurers to sell across state lines. And if Republicans wanted to reciprocate, they could at least acknowledge the congressional scorekeepers are right – the Democratic plans cut the deficit in the long term and rein in health care costs. But that would assume either side is willing to do this. Heading into Thursday’s summit, there’s been a lot of talk on both sides about how they’re the reasonable ones, willing to meet in the middle – and it’s the other side that’s to blame. But the reality is, both sides have been responding to the overwhelming incentives to play to the home team, and to tailor their positions to seek partisan advantage and political gain. So in the end, the health care summit seems most likely to clarify what has been an obvious reality lurking just below the surface at almost every turn in this episode, which is that neither side is really on the level when they say they were committed to bipartisanship. Nor do they really want to split the difference – to do something in six hours at Blair House that they wouldn’t do all year.”
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