Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Intentions – A New Beginning for Health Reform Repeal Debate

When the House returns to debate over repealing health reform, the rhetoric most likely will be better – but the lines of division will be as hard as ever.

Politico, January 12.

Next week, the debate begins anew over health reform – whether to keep it or repeal it. There are enough substantive issues – the moral obligation to cover the uninsured, cost overruns inherent in government entitlements, regulations restricting civil liberties and choices of patients and doctors, comprehensive vs. incremental reform – without resorting to defamatory rhetoric.

In my new, unpublished book Good Intentions: A Health Reform Handbook, I make these observations:

• In unanimously passing the health reform law, the Democratic supermajority had good intentions – to cover the uninsured.

• In unanimously opposing the law, the Republican minority had good intentions – to think through the consequences before adopting a law affecting every American.

Neither side, regrettably , gave an inch.

In this Great Divide, hard feelings surfaced, and harsh rhetoric set in. In this renewed debate, most Americans yearn for a more civil discourse, with more stress on policy and less on politics.

In this upcoming week of national mourning will be time for pausing, reflecting ,and coming together. Let’s make the best of the next week before the debate renews and the issues reharden.

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