LIVE, from historic Blair House, across the street from the White House, in your nation's capital. It's the latest reality television program.
Survivor: Health Reform!
Watch as America's leading political parties square off while seated at tables in a "hollow square set up." Who will win America's hearts as contestants vie over tort reform, pre-existing conditions, health coverage for all, and insurance reforms?
Let's introduce some of the contestants: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator John McCain, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid.
We would also be remiss if we didn't take a moment to thank the health care industry for its generous funding. It is great to know that these companies want to put America's health care needs first. In particular, their contributions have made it possible for Republicans Senator Mitch McConnell, Representative Eric Cantor, Representative John Boehner and Senator Charles Grassley to be here (and in Washington), along with Democrats Reid, Senator Max Baucus, and Representative Steny Hoyer, to name just a few.
Hypocrisy is sure to abound during the show; it's a special feature of our presentation. We know Americans never tire of hypocrisy. Will the deeply tanned House Republican leader, Representative John Boehner, argue that there are too few papers, or too many in the president's proposal? Which John Boehner will show up?
Will Republicans open by crying out against using "reconciliation" to get health reform passed? Just as Minority Leader McConnell did on the Senate floor Wednesday, saying, "Democrats on Capitol Hill are working behind the scenes on a plan aimed at jamming this massive health spending bill through Congress against the clear wishes of an unsuspecting public." Never mind that Republicans rammed through two major tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans during President George Bush's first term using reconciliation. It is estimated that the Bush tax cuts will add $2.3 trillion to the nation's debt over a decade.
For those of you watching who do not have or cannot afford health care, there is sure to be something for you in our show. There is the Obama plan, which is projected to cover 30 million of you. While the price tag is almost $1 trillion over 10 years, the White House projects it will actually save the government money in the long run. And, in a surprise, Republicans are coming to the table with a plan of their own, and it will cover up to an additional 3 million uninsured citizens by 2019! How can you not like these guys?
And count on the participants to throw in a little demagoguery as well. Take Obama's proposal, which calls for a small reduction in the rate of future growth of Medicare spending. Republicans are sure to claim that Democrats are going to cut Medicare and scare the bejesus out of you senior citizens! Of course, don't expect Republican Paul Ryan to mention his ideas for "reforming" Medicare and other entitlements, certainly not at this session, even though everyone agrees costly entitlements must be addressed.
Watch as all the dramatic developments unfold around key discussion points: controlling costs, insurance reforms, reducing the deficit and expanding coverage. How many talking points will be covered? How much partisan bickering will there be? Will it be gridlock! Oh, and as an extra treat, Vice President Joe Biden un-tethered. What will he say? Better yet, what won't he say?
In the words of Republican Representative Mike Pence, "Tomorrow's summit is looking more and more like a taxpayer-funded media event designed to set up passage of ObamaCare 2.0, and the American people deserve to know it!"
Precisely, that's why we are promoting Survivor: Health Reform. Check your local listings!
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