The Presidential Health Care Summit featured a lot of early finger pointing. In his opening remarks, the President said attendees had to determine whether it still is possible to find consensus on a contentious issue.
"If we're listening to each other, if we're not engaging in sort of the tit for tat and trying to score political points during the next several hours, we might be able to make some progress," Obama said.
Congressional Republicans continued urging the President to scrap his plans for overhauling the U.S. health care system. They want to restart the debate on how best to control medical costs and expand coverage. Obama showed no sign of being ready to do so. Most discussion repeated old talking points.
Obama and Congressional Democrats such as Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., stressed areas where the sides agree, such as the need for new insurance regulations. Republicans said Democrats' plans gave the government too much opportunity to influence personal care decisions. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., criticized the President for failing to deliver on a campaign pledge to change the culture of Washington. The President replied that they're not campaigning any more and that the election is over.