I think Obama's planned televised bipartisan meeting on health care reform is a waste of time. Republicans had months to actively get involved with shaping the legislation and chose not to. They decided that the smart political move was to oppose health care reform at every turn. The chances of getting Republican buy-in at this point seems to be zero, so the only reason for the meeting is PR purposes. Republican Rep. Tom Price (R-GA 6), on the other hand, knows it will be empty PR.
Of course, the reason that the bipartisan meeting is going to be nothing more than hollow PR is because Republicans like Price have chosen to make sure it can't be anything but hollow PR. The Republican leader has made it clear that they have zero intention to vote for health care reform. If they are unwilling to reach a compromise with Democrats, and have made that clear, any attempt to reach out to them will accomplish nothing on a policy or legislative front. You can't reach a bipartisan agreement if one party does not want to reach a compromise. It takes two to tango.
It does not matter if Obama is sincere in his outreach to Republicans. Since the Republicans don't intend to vote for reform, any bipartisan meeting by definition can't accomplish anything more than PR. Price and I agree that the meeting will be just a “hollow PR blitz,” but Price is the one who has the power to make it something more. Unlike me, Price could use it is a chance to advance the solutions he actually wants to become law. Let's just say I'm more than envious. Of course, I shouldn't be angry--it's not like it is Price's job as a legislator to actually write legislation.