Let's hope the 3.9 million webcast watchers realized that, instead of being duped by the Republicans false claims.
They had nothing to offer but their tired, discredited old hobby horses. Sam Stein summed it up on Huffington Post:
No matter how many times Obama pointed out that there are significant areas of overlap between his plan and the Republican Party's proposals, his opponents continued to express strong disagreement over such things as the government's role in expanding coverage (Obama's plan would cover 30 million uninsured, the Republicans would cover three million) or the design of insurance market reforms (Obama would prohibit discrimination against pre-existing conditions, Republicans would not), or the length of the bill.
Democrats forcefully resisted the Republican's main proposal -- which was to start over from scratch.
"Starting over in my mind is code for delay and obstruction," David Axelrod, the president's senior adviser, told CNN.
And so, by summit's end, nothing was resolved and everything was resolved.
Reconciliation seems the only immediate path forward even if it continues to make some lawmakers skittish.
At least it proved one thing: there's no point in talking about it any more. Nothing was resolved about the differences. But everything was resolved on the question of the only way forward. Leave the Republicans behind. Now is the time for taking action to get as much of the plan passed through the reconciliation process as possible.
Why is this considered so bad? This is a democracy -- or at least the shambles of one -- but at least we still usually go by majority vote, except where certain rights of the minority are protected by the Constitution.
The Republicans have been making the argument that there is no right to health care. So they can't very well argue that a constitutional right is being violated by passing health care legislation by a simple majority vote. The filibuster isn't in the constitution either.
Several of George Bush's major pieces of legislation were passed using the reconciliation process, including his big tax cuts for the wealthy, which enormously affected the health of our economy and the deficit. So they don't have much of a case to make against health care reform as a wrecker of the budget and deficit.
So now we can finish the job and get some essential things passed, even if it is far from what we wanted and what is needed. It is a start.