The GOP Congressional delegation would be idiots to agree to serve as human stage props for a White House-controlled event that inevitably will be rigged against them. Especially because Obama is still more charismatic, smarter, and a better debater than just about anybody on the GOP side. Wrong but sharp.
But not showing up would make Obama's job easier. John Cole:
If they come, you can have the summit. If they don’t, then you can have the summit without them, and can use the time (as the camera pans over their empty seats) to promote the positive aspects of the current bill all while discussing the only GOP plan out there- the Paul Ryan bill. I’d suggest panning the room a good bit.
Continetti doesn't see the downside of going:
In my opinion, there's no harm in a televised discussion of health care reform. If Obama hasn't been able to convince the public his way is the right way by now, one more event won't make a difference. Nor will a single C-SPAN broadcast alter the political dynamic that is preventing Democrats from passing a final bill. What's more, Republicans will have an opportunity to present their ideas to lower the cost of individual health insurance and increase consumer choice.
My own view is that not showing up makes them look totally obstructionist and makes Obama look more responsible and presidential. Their base might like it, but Independents wouldn't.