Otherwise known as the Health Care Summit.

Bruce McQuain at Q&O has a good round-up of the day’s talkfest. 

I’ve been watching and/or listening to the health care summit today and it became fairly obvious from the opening bell that there wasn’t going to be much of anything worthwhile or substantive accomplished – not that I’m surprised.   5 hours into it, it has been mostly the exchange of talking points.

Did anybody really think this was anything more than a very long press conference?  Or perhaps a fig leaf of "transparency" for a bill that has been worked out almost entirely in back rooms.

One thing I thought was interesting was that tort reform, often handwaved away as not really saving much, was shown to be something that, if Democrats are serious about controlling costs and not beholden to the trial lawyers, should be in any reform bill.

Republicans have argued for tort reform for medical malpractice. Democrats (Dick Durbin in particular) have argued against it. McCain used the Texas model to make the point for tort reform. Texas, which has instituted tort reform has seen malpractice premiums reduced by 27% and has had a net gain of 18,000 doctors – extrapolated nationally using direct savings (malpractice insurance premium cost) and indirect savings (reduction of the “defensive medicine” practiced by doctors) the amount saved could be in the $150 billion range.

Certainly worth putting in if the Democrats are serious.  We’ll see.

In going through anecdote after anecdote trying to prove their points, it seems one Democrat got the wrong moral of the story.

Chris Dodd is now telling a story about a guy who privately put together a small business health care association in CT. Of course the point lost on him as he argues for the government to act is it was done privately and perhaps the government’s role ought to be enabling that. Rep. Joe Barton is now making that point.

Local solutions to local problems, not one-size-fits-all square pegs in round holes.  Give the people the freedom to get done what they need to, and whadaya’ know; they will!

Bottom line – no bi-partisan attempt on either side to reach a compromise. And again, that’s fine.

Amen to that.

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