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Who won’t compromise?

Posted: October 5, 2009 10:49 p.m.
Updated: October 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.
This letter is in response to Ms. Sherryan’ Lima’s claim (“Rally, march to keep rights,” The Signal, Sept. 19) that Congressman McKeon must, “[T]ell the truth with no more misleading statements...” and “ in a bipartisan way with the president for the common goal of affordable health care for all.”

If ever there was a command from constituent to representative that failed to accurately account for the political reality, I’ve not lived long enough to hear it. Over and over again, Congressional and Senate Republicans along with centrist Democrats in both houses of Congress have attempted to infuse some free market principles to the discussion on health care reform.

And over and over again they have been rebuffed.

I hate to be the one to pour cold water on Ms. Lima’s obviously false belief that Republicans stand in the way of health care reform and point out that Democrats have a majority significant enough to pass health care reform right now.

The problem is that many Democrats don’t have the will to go it alone. Some sensibly believe a so-called public option is not the answer while others are simply loath to passing a bill with no Republican support (smart choice).

The political reality of the health care impasse is that it is the president and his colleagues in Congress who have failed to open the door to discussion and compromise. Renaming the “public option” to “heath care collective” (to begin with, an improper use of the word collective) is an intellectually dishonest task and one that falls far from the mark of bi-partisan compromise.

Just as when Republicans held both houses of Congress and the White House, nothing of substance will get accomplished without buy-in from the other party. Which reminds me of another lesson we should all take from this: Perhaps one-party rule is the best way to insure that absolutely nothing of consequence is achieved.


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