Warning: watching American politicians argue about healthcare can be seriously damaging to your health. Symptoms may include migraines, extreme fatigue and sudden violent urges. In the event of exposure to competing statistics — regarding “donut holes”, “HMO deductibles”, “reconciliation devices” or suchlike — seek immediate medical help.
The public affairs television channel C-Span 3 might as well have put such a message at the bottom of its screen today as it broadcast President Obama’s epic six-hour “bipartisan” debate on US medical reform.
Of course, by the usual standards of C-Span programming — which can induce sleep faster than an IV drip of propofol — the summit was the equivalent of a bikini mud wrestling contest. You half expected the picture to shake as the camera operator struggled to compose himself.
For the rest of us, however, it was mainly an opportunity to see how many conciliatory-looking poses Obama could strike while listening to his Republican opponents explain why the entire first year of his administration has been a gigantic waste of time, and why the telephone directory-sized health Bills produced by both the Democrat-controlled House and Senate should be fed into a shredder the size of Connecticut, before they . . . well, no one seems to know exactly what these vast pieces of legislation would do.
Read the rest here: Try to stay awake: the President has a healthcare Bill to pass – Times Online.