Health Care Summit 'Fabulous,' 'Useful,' Say GOP Leaders

For Mitch McConnell, it was a "a fabulous discussion." For John Boehner, "a useful discussion."

The Republican leaders in Congress wrapped up the health care summit with the president and his congressional allies full of praise for the gathering.

"Mr. President, I'm going to say thank you for having us here. I think it's been a useful conversation and as I listened to you open up this meeting, I thought to myself, I don't disagree with anything that you said," Boehner, the Republican minority leader, offered to Obama.

"The American families are struggling with health care. We all know it. The American people want us to address this in a responsible way. So I really do say thanks for having us all here."

Boehner then qualified his approval and drifted off into a set of talking points, but the point had been made: The summit looked, as Boehner attested, very reasonable and rational: Grown-ups discussing the details of comprehensive health care reform. There was no talk of death panels.

That could be just the image Obama needs as he enters the final push for health care reform. After all, if everybody's reasonable, then whatever plan passes must be reasonable.

Before the summit, the GOP was much stingier with its praise of the summit. "We're happy to be there, but I'm not quite sure what the purpose is," said McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader. "It seems to me the president's already made up his mind."

Boehner, in fact, may have been wishing he'd taken his own advice.

"We shouldn't let the White House have a six-hour taxpayer-funded infomercial on ObamaCare," he said earlier this week. "We need to crash the party."

"This so-called summit is a charade. The Democrats clearly want us to boycott," he went on. "I don't think we should take the bait."