More than halfway through today's health care summit, fears that Obama would somehow trap Republicans seem unfounded.
"We've got to get our facts straight," Obama said in an exchange with Lamar Alexander. Indeed, the summit has been an excellent venue for Republicans to lay out the facts and make their case. For example, Obama argued that some premiums would rise in the individual market only because people would choose to buy better plans, but Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan pointed out the premiums would increase because of additional government mandates. Individuals, mandated by the government to buy plans with lots of government mandates, don't have much of a choice to buy more expensive plans.
But I wonder if Republicans are missing an opportunity to bolster their case by asking Obama questions and getting him on the record. John McCain pointed out the special deals in the Senate bill, including exempting Florida seniors from Medicare Advantage cuts.
Obama shot back that the "campaign is over." Wouldn't it be interesting to hear Obama's response if he was asked, "Mr. President, are you willing to sign a bill that includes these special deals?"
And so on. Republicans could bring a little more clarity to the health care debate by throwing in questions to Obama here and there on reconciliation, Medicare cuts, mandates, the deficit, taxes, and public funding of abortion.