“I don't think any of them disclosed anything they haven't said before,” said Tom Nickels, senior vice president of federal relations for the American Hospital Association. “This is more about, is there willingness for both parties to negotiate, and if not, did it help House Democrats?”
It's too early to know the answers to these questions, Nickels added. The hospital association was encouraged by the substance of the debate over the uninsured. “That issue was very well debated,” Nickels said, despite the fact that it came very late in the day and Obama extended the day-long session to discuss coverage.
J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association, expressed disappointment that more movement didn't occur across the aisle. “The good news is that Republicans and Democrats came together and started talking to each other,” he said in a statement, but added that “we had hoped to hear next steps on a bipartisan path forward on health reform, and we did not.”
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