A short statement that should be read at the beginning of the health care meeting on February 25th

It should be read by Eric Cantor or Mitch McConnell, and it should go something like this:

Mr. President, thank you for inviting us to this conference on health care. I am sure you noticed that none of the Republican members of the House or Senate, or our staff have taken our seats, and I would like to explain why.

For a solid year, Republicans and our ideas were shut out of the process that crafted the bills which passed the House and Senate. What the public got was the worst that Washington has to offer – backroom negotiations, special deals for political allies, and an unreadable monstrosity that is nothing less than a complete takeover of one-sixth of the economy – by a government that is singularly unprepared to do so with the slightest chance of success. The bills and this process have been bad for everyone who have made the American health care system the envy of the world, but most of all they have been bad for the American people.

Mr. President, we are here to present our ideas. We believe that free markets and competition can solve most of the problems we face. We believe in an incremental approach, where important parts of our overall plan can be passed one at a time, their effect measured and their approach perfected.

We are not here, however, to tinker around the edges of bills that are fundamentally flawed and disasters beyond redemption. I ask you now, Mr. President, whether you are willing to scrap these bills completely and start from scratch, with the shared goals of lowering health care costs and providing health care for as many people as we can, without adding to the already unsustainable deficits that will surely bankrupt our great land.

If you are willing to begin anew, Mr. President, we will work with you as much as we can within the principles we hold dear. If not, then we will have to admit that those who characterized this meeting as nothing but a show designed to provide political cover for Democrats were correct, and we will be forced to walk out of this meeting here and now.

This is a yes or no question. What is your answer, Mr. President?

I am out of hibernation for an afternoon to dream. See you all again soon.

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