Frustration Mounts at Health Care Summit

President slams Cantor for using 'props'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2010 12:57 PM CST
President Barack Obama listens during a meeting with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to discuss health care reform, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, in the Blair House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama began the day by expressing hope “that this discussion is actually a discussion and not just us trading talking points.” But by the time Republicans and Democrats broke for lunch, the sides didn’t look any closer to compromise. “In spite of the many hours of discussion today, the summit was basically a political stunt,” concludes the Guardian. Despite Max Baucus’ sunny declaration that “we basically agree,” Republicans kept using phrases like, “fundamental disagreement.”

Eric Cantor laid out one particularly thorny issue: He doesn’t think taxpayers should pay to expand coverage. “We just can't afford this, that's the ultimate problem,” he said. Cantor also brought the Senate bill—Obama slammed him for using “props.” Biden, after hours of sitting silently, finally jumped in saying that there were no fundamental differences, because Republicans kept saying that they were OK with basic ideas like insurance exchanges and rules protecting the sick. “Either you're in or you're out!” he said.

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