"President Obama and congressional leaders gathered for an extraordinary summit on health care yesterday that offered an extended, free-flowing debate but produced no compromise. It did, however, clarify terms for the next phase of battle on Capitol Hill," the Boston Globe says. "At the end of 6 1/2 hours of spirited discussion, Obama essentially offered an ultimatum to Republicans: Work seriously with Democrats on a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system, or Democrats will move forward without the GOP in a matter of weeks."
"President Barack Obama wrapped up Thursday's health care summit with strong words for Republicans: Find common ground with Democrats in the next six weeks or we're moving on without you and letting voters decide in November who was wrong," Roll Call writes.
The Washington Post: "Democratic leaders face a heavy lift in reviving their stalled bill, a process that would involve intricate parliamentary maneuvering and carries no guarantee of success. But Obama signaled that if meaningful GOP cooperation does not materialize in the weeks ahead, he is ready to proceed without bipartisan support and risk the political consequences. 'The question that I'm going to ask myself and I ask of all of you is, is there enough serious effort that in a month's time or a few weeks' time or six weeks' time we could actually resolve something?' Obama said. 'And if we can't, then I think we've got to go ahead and make some decisions, and then that's what elections are for.'"
The New York Daily News calls the health summit a "failure."
The AP's take: "Democrats and Republicans found plenty areas of agreement at President Barack Obama's health care summit, starting with a shared belief that the system needs fixing. When they delved into the details, though, consensus evaporated in many cases. The dynamic illustrated the partisan divide that's riven the health care debate and underscored the difficulty of coming together even on modest measures."
Dana Milbank: "Republicans had been hesitant to accept President Obama's invitation to participate in Thursday's White House health-care summit. Their hesitance turned out to be justified. An equal number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers assembled around a table at Blair House, and each had a chance to speak during the seven-hour televised talkathon. But members of the opposition party may not have fully understood that they were stepping into Prof. Obama's classroom, and that they were to be treated like his undisciplined pupils. Obama controlled the microphone and the clock, and he used both skillfully to limit the Republicans' time, to rebut their arguments and to always have the last word."
Paul Krugman: "If we're lucky, Thursday's summit will turn out to have been the last act in the great health reform debate, the prologue to passage of an imperfect but nonetheless history-making bill. If so, the debate will have ended as it began: with Democrats offering moderate plans that draw heavily on past Republican ideas, and Republicans responding with slander and misdirection."