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Health care reform as theater

By Staff
U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner
Guest column
Blair House, across from the White House, was the backdrop for President Obama’s health care drama last Thursday, but frankly, the stage at the Kennedy Center would have been more appropriate. 
Going into the so-called health care summit, we conservatives felt that the president was more interested in showmanship than working to find fundamental areas of agreement to reform health care without radical change.
Rather than starting with a blank sheet of paper as conservatives have requested, the president trotted out a repackaged health care bill that contained many of the same government mandates as the previously-passed Senate health care bill.
I was not invited to the summit, but the Republican leadership did attend.  It was important that conservatives show up to present a united front for the majority of Americans who do not wish to see either the House or Senate health care bills, or a version of the two, passed into law.
If the president and his leadership in Congress want to talk about real health care reform based on market reforms and increased choice without more government intervention, conservatives are willing to talk.  Unfortunately, it appears the president is even more determined to force his government-controlled health care bill through Congress.