‘Top Line’ — No Break from Health Care Debate

By Caitlin Taylor

Aug 24, 2009 2:23pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: President Obama is on vacation this week, but the debate over health care rages in his absence. Today on ABCNews.com’s “Top Line,” Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis and Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak debated the parties’ strategies from here. Kofinis said a break may just be what the health care reform fight needs. “To some extent I think taking a break from the focus that comes when the president speaks about health care may not be a bad thing, just kind of refocus things when we come back after the August recess,” he said. “I think everyone at the end of the day kind of realizes with Congress out, it is a status quo situation, and the focus really is going to be about the strategy going into September in the fall.” Mackowiak lauded the Republican National Committee’s new effort to draw senior citizens into the debate with a “Seniors’ Bill of Rights.”   “At the end of the day people that have insurance are afraid that costs are not going to be any better and care is going to get worse with the plan that Obama’s put forward,” he said. Watch the debate HERE. Also today, we spoke with Kevin Baron, a reporter for Stars & Stripes, about President Obama’s challenge in developing a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan. “Everybody who’s anybody involved in this thinks that there’s no doubt more troop levels are on the way,” Baron told us. “What [Joint Chiefs of Staff] Admiral [Michael] Mullen has said and what [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates has said is that this McCrystal report is not going to contain in any kind of an ‘ask’ – it’s really going to be a strategy evaluation about, you know, what are we looking at now, what do we need to look at? And following that, that’s when the troop numbers will come.” Click HERE to see the interview with Kevin Baron.

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