What was that all about?

Did President Obama truly set up Thursday’s televised health care forum with Republican congressional leaders at Blair House, across the street from the White House, “to try to hammer out a compromise with Republicans,” as The Associated Press reported?

The Democratic scheme is to impose higher taxes and fewer choices on the 85 percent of Americans who are pleased with their current health care, in order to insure illegal aliens and fund abortion with tax dollars.

Republicans, on the other hand, would seek to make health insurance more affordable for everyone, allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines in defiance of the state-based “coverage mandates”; allowing individuals and companies to form pools to seek reduced rates, and placing limits on medical malpractice judgments — an approach which the Congressional Budget Office says would save money by reducing unnecessary “defensive medicine,” estimated to account for 26 percent of current costs.

Which of those Republican ideas did the president agree Thursday to include in a new, “compromise health bill”?

The answer is none, because he never intended to include GOP proposals in any truly new, “compromise” bill, at all.

“We’ve tried to take every single cost containment idea that’s out there,” the President lied. “Every proposal that health care economists say will reduce health care costs, we’ve tried to adopt.”

In fact, Democrats refuse to allow interstate commerce in health insurance, which would reward the one small state that decides to invite insurance companies in with a “no mandates guarantee.” 258 House Democrats voted “No” last year on a substitute Republican plan that the Congressional Budget Office said would reduce costs by as much as 10 percent.

The president himself on Thursday mentioned a cost-cutting option that he won’t consider, stating — clearly with sarcastic intent — that he’s sure prescription costs could be reduced if we got rid of the FDA and left it to the free market to determine which drugs are safe.

It’s called “judicial regulation,” since purveyors can still be sued if they sell a dangerous product … a system that seems to work pretty well for most foods.

(In fact, it would work better than the current system. Can you sue the FDA if you’re injured by a drug they approved? No — no more than you can sue your state medical licensing board if it turns out they licensed a quack. Meantime, marijuana — known to be an effective multi-purpose medication for millennia — is not “approved” for any use in the U.S. because no one will pay the millions of dollars necessary to prove the medical benefits to the FDA’s satisfaction, since you could never make back that investment since you can’t patent a plant.)

The fact that no one in the room took Mr. Obama up on the best cost-cutting proposal offered all day (his proposal to get rid of the FDA) demonstrates why it would be better to elect Libertarians — who at least know the Constitution authorizes no FDA — than Republicans.

Yet the president simultaneously insisted “Every proposal that health care economists say will reduce health care costs, we’ve tried to adopt”?

If Mr. Obama and Democratic legislative leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi wanted a bi-partisan bill that embraced low-cost, free-market reforms instead of a massive new Stalinesque “entitlement” — now even including “hard” government price controls, both in the current Democratic federal proposal and in the Massachusetts “test run,” Romneycare — why wasn’t such a meeting called a year ago? Why was it not dreamed up till a new “kick start” was needed after Scott Browns’s Republican upset victory in Massachusetts, which last month deprived Democrats of their 60-vote Senate majority?

The purpose of Thursday’s health care forum, to Democrats, was to either paint Republicans as “the party of no ideas” if they declined to show up, or else to get Republicans to “compromise,” by which today’s Democrats mean “Shut up and vote for our bill.”

Democrats couldn’t embrace modest, sensible GOP proposals even if they wanted to, since liberal special interest groups and their party’s major funding source — the trial lawyers — oppose them. We’ve all seen how this works, in the world of Democrat thug politics. Allow consumers to buy a bare-bones insurance policy that doesn’t cover mammograms — they could still buy such tests for cash, to their hearts’ content — and suddenly you’ll be branded “in favor of breast cancer.” Make dangerous pertussis vaccinations optional and you’re “in favor of childhood disease.”

Mr. Obama objected to the “theatrical” use of “props” Thursday — at a dog-and-pony show of his own device. But the only “props” Republicans brought were copies of the Democrats’ own 2,000-page bills, over the top of which Republican whip Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., peered out as he read repeatedly from the Democrats’ own scripture.

Pursing his lips and shifting uncomfortably in his seat, the inexperienced Mr. Obama clearly was not happy at being called upon by newly invigorated Republicans to defend specific clauses of his own bills. Instead, the president repeatedly tried to shift the emphasis from specifics by complaining that these were mere “talking points,” and that “We’re no longer on the campaign trail.”

That was a bit ironic, given that Mr. Obama just set up his 2012 re-election office, and has been described even by left-wing sources as making “campaign-style” speeches at recent public appearances, including this week’s in Las Vegas.

“We all know this is urgent,” the president lied. (Digging people out of collapsed buildings or mineshafts is “urgent.” Turning America into an even more repressive, bankrupt, and dysfunctional slave state is surely somewhat less so.) “And unfortunately over the course of the year … this became a very ideological battle. It became a very partisan battle. And politics, I think, ended up trumping practical common sense.”

Ah. So when the president lies about abortion funding, lies about coverage for illegal aliens, lies about rationing, tells massive whoppers about the budget impact, and tries to use a temporary Democratic majority to hurriedly ram through a far-out, Moscow-style, state-run health care system that’s opposed by two thirds of the American people, that’s “practical common sense” But when Republicans unite and use a set of Senate rules purposely established, long ago, to stop bad ideas from being rushed into law without sufficient national debate and consideration, that’s some kind of bad thing called “politics.”

Got it.

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