Obama Takes Dr. Barrasso To Medical School (VIDEO)

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It could become an iconic moment in a six-hour health care summit that was at times a sleepy affair: President Obama debating Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)–a medical doctor–on whether guaranteeing catastrophic coverage is a sufficient answer to the country’s health care woes.

“Would you be satisfied if every member of Congress just had catastrophic care–you think we’d be better health care purchasers?” Obama asked Barrasso. “I mean, is that a change you think we should make?”

“I think actually we would,” Barrasso responded. “We’d really focus on it. We’d have more, as you say, skin in the game. And especially if they had a savings account–a health savings account–they could put their money into that, and they’d be spending the money out of that.”

Obama’s retort left Barrasso speechless:“Would you feel the same way if you were making $40,000. Or if that was your income. Because that’s the reality for a lot of folks,” Obama said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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