NAME ONE…. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” earlier, talking about the health care debate. Host Robin Roberts noted some of the areas of compromise President Obama brought up in his speech last night, and asked the GOP leader about whether he’s prepared to offer “some compromises of your own now.”
“You know, Robin, I think it’s very important that we dismiss this notion of a government option. I think if we listen to the American people right now — the fear surrounds this notion that somehow the government will replace the health care system that we know in this country.”
First, if policymakers are going to “listen to the American people right now,” the public option should fare quite well — polls show most of the public likes the idea. Second, the answer doesn’t match the question — Roberts asked about where congressional Republicans may be willing to compromise. Telling the president to compromise even more is a non sequitur.
Amanda Terkel also reminded us of this piece published by Time magazine in May.
When Barack Obama informed congressional Republicans [in April] that he would support a controversial parliamentary move to protect health-care reform from a filibuster in the Senate, they were furious. That meant the bill could pass with a simple majority of 51 votes, eliminating the need for any GOP support. Where, they demanded, was the bipartisanship the President had promised? So, right there in the Cabinet Room, the President put a proposal on the table, according to two people who were present. Obama said he was willing to curb malpractice awards, a move long sought by Republicans that is certain to bring strong opposition from the trial lawyers who fund the Democratic Party.
What, he wanted to know, did the Republicans have to offer in return?
Nothing, it turned out. Republicans were unprepared to make any concessions, if they had any to make.
This has been the only real constant of the debate all year. President Obama showed his willingness to compromise by dropping single-payer as a possibility at the outset. He proceeded to signal possible concessions on a public option, a co-op plan, triggers, medical malpractice, reimbursement rates, eligibility rates. Last night, the president literally borrowed from the McCain/Palin platform in presenting new ideas.
And then there’s the other side — the one whining incessantly for weeks about killing reform and replacing it with a “bipartisan” approach. After six months of debate, can anyone name a single concession Republicans have been willing to make on reform? Literally, one?