LOOKING BACK AT TODAY.
In his opening remarks at the bipartisan summit on health care, President Obama said, "What I'm hoping to accomplish today is . to focus on where we agree, because there actually is some significant agreement." http://bit.ly/dqLwjj
In a deft move, the Republicans turned to congenial Sen. Lamar Alexander to make the GOP's opening remarks. Alexander called for Obama and the Democrats to start over. "This is a car that can't be recalled and can't be fixed. We need to start over." http://bit.ly/aK7DHq
Alexander also urged Obama and the Democrats not to use reconciliation to move health-care fixes through the Senate. Obama's reply was: Let's first figure out the areas where Democrats and Republicans agree, the areas where they don't, and "make an honest assessment whether we can bridge these differences. Let's talk about the substance . and we might surprise ourselves that we agree more than we disagree." http://bit.ly/a5K86j
Later, Obama gave his answer on reconciliation, saying it was a legitimate course of action. "I do think [the American people] want a vote on how we're going to move this forward," he said. "A majority vote makes sense." http://bit.ly/9cQW03
The testiest exchange of the day: John McCain was criticizing the various deals the White House cut with industry groups to help pass reform. Obama interjected to respond, and McCain quickly cut him off. After McCain finished, Obama replied, "We are not campaigning anymore. The election is over." McCain responded, "I know about that every single day." http://bit.ly/a9nxiV
Per NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, the president and McCain had another exchange with a decidedly different, less agitated tone -- over the matter of the Medicare Advantage program. http://bit.ly/cl5TwR
And at the summit, Republicans -- including Sens. Lamar Alexander and Jon Kyl -- asserted that health-care premiums would go up under the Democratic plans, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Obama responded that the assertion wasn't factually accurate.
Per the Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact, the CBO said that -- for the most part -- premiums would go down or stay the same. http://bit.ly/9blFav
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