Nothing fundamental changed today. A strong majority of Americans is dead set against enactment of the bills Congress has been developing. They are rightfully concerned about the risks that a large and expensive new entitlement program will pose for future tax rates and deficits. They want Congress to go much more slowly and make sure that whatever is done improves matters and doesn’t make things worse. At various points, participants admitted there is a fundamental difference between the sides on solutions. But they didn’t particularly describe the competing ideas very well. What it comes down to is this: what process can be put in place to improve the efficiency of the health sector. The Democrats believe in governmental management of costs. Republicans believe in a functioning marketplace. That’s why the summit is not very likely to produce much in securing common ground.
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