The president’s health care media blitz was based on the notion that the more the American people learn about his plan, the more they would come to like it. Now that just the opposite has occurred, the president has chosen to limit participation in the Thursday summit to administration officials and congressional leaders. America’s governors and state legislatures have been excluded. Their perspective from the front lines about the damage this massive government takeover of health care would do to cash-strapped states is apparently not welcome. That’s greatly disappointing, considering that measures have been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures opting out of a federal takeover of health care.
Also excluded from today’s summit is Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., co-author of a House-passed amendment barring federal funding of abortion. The Stupak-Pitts amendment — which reflects the will of the American people on the issue of federal funding of abortion — is supported by a bipartisan majority in the House, but was excluded from the president’s proposal. Pro-life Democrats in the House have already pledged to vote against this provision. Health care reform should be an opportunity to protect human life — not end it. This fundamental issue isn’t even listed as a topic for discussion at the summit.
The president can hold all the summits he wants, but the toothpaste is out of the tube: The American people don’t want this massive government takeover of health care. No summit or speech or sales pitch can fix a fundamentally flawed 2,000-plus-page health care bill that spends money we don’t have and kills the jobs we need to get our economy moving again.
Let’s listen to the American people and let’s start over.