What do you think this might look like? From a statement released Friday from the White House to Speaker Pelosi:
Since this meeting will be most productive if information is widely available before the meeting, we will post online the text of a proposed health insurance reform package. This legislation would put a stop to insurance company abuses, extend coverage to millions of Americans, get control of skyrocketing premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and reduce the deficit.
My first reaction was: this sounds like the much rumored “scaled back” reform idea that was floated right after Massachusetts. But now that I think about it a little more, I don’t know. And strategically I don’t see any advantages in the White House weakening its hand before the meeting even happens — after all, there’s a bill ready to go in Congress, with only two House votes and a Senate reconciliation vote to pass it. Why would the White House scrap all of that before the first Republican stepped up to speak at the summit? Then what happens if there aren’t enough votes for the scaled back thing?
I believe this is going to be a Plouffe style road map for Congress to sell the Senate bill with the reconciliation fixes to their home districts — a pitch for the current legislation aimed at the American people. I think.
Adding… For what it’s worth, here’s what preceded the above blurb:
The session will begin at 10:00 a.m. and be broadcast live in its entirety…
The President will offer opening remarks at the beginning of the meeting, followed by remarks from a Republican leader chosen by the Republican leadership and a Democratic leader chosen by the Democratic leadership. The President will then open and moderate iscussion on four critical topics: insurance reforms, cost containment, expanding coverage, and the impact health reform legislation will have on deficit reduction.