Health reform needed a moderate third party

Partisan rancor was one of the signatures of the recent health reform debate.

Can middle ground actually be sought?

That’s a question that Eric Segall asks in a recent AOL News op-ed. As is the case in Washington, both sides are to blame:

Contrary to what Democrats suggest, there are few examples (if any) where the federal government, or for that matter any government, has required individuals to purchase something from the private sector or pay a tax. Regardless of its real-world applications, or its constitutionality, this individual mandate scares a lot of people, because if Congress can do this, what can’t Congress do? These are serious points worthy of discussion and should not be casually dismissed.

Second, Republicans and those on the right need to stop talking about how the “government is taking over health care.”

Why couldn’t we have reform where a political party advocated for guaranteed universal coverage combined with health savings accounts and tort reform?

The lies emanating both ends of the political spectrum nearly crippled health reform — to the potential detriment of millions of patients who will benefit from the new law.

A few weeks ago the New York Times’ Tom Friendman wrote about the need for a moderate third party:

The radical center is “radical” in its desire for a radical departure from politics as usual. It advocates: raising taxes to close our budgetary shortfalls, but doing so with a spirit of equity and social justice; guaranteeing that every American is covered by health insurance, but with market reforms to really bring down costs; legally expanding immigration to attract more job-creators to America’s shores; increasing corporate tax credits for research and lowering corporate taxes if companies will move more manufacturing jobs back onshore; investing more in our public schools, while insisting on rising national education standards and greater accountability for teachers, principals and parents; massively investing in clean energy, including nuclear, while allowing more offshore drilling in the transition.

Now that’s a platform that I can whole-heartedly support. And so can most of America which, as those on the fringes sometimes forget, resides squarely in the middle.

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  • http://wellescent.com/health_blog Wellescent Health Blog

    It is hard to see all parts of the political spectrum buying into social justice especially when it involves governments taking on more responsibilities and raising taxes to cover the costs of such undertakings. Fundamentally, the spirit of individualism seems to trump social justice and equity far too often.

  • Yious

    Every political argument needs a middle ground

    Political arguments in general are rarely based on facts but are based on bias opinions

  • http://wellness.wikispaces.com Sabatini Monatesti

    The real issue is not that we need a third party, which may be a good idea, but how do we pay for what we want? Further, we need to discuss the issue of distribution of wealth from two points of view: The “I or me” perspective or “negotiate and get what ever I can get from the system,” and the “we” perspective or “what is in the best interest of the community that I am a member of?” That will tend to drive a discussion on social consciousness. Then we need to review the question, How do you handle the current 30% tax rate on the average Joe, and is the size of local, county, state and federal government adequate to meet the needs of its citizens? Thirdly we need to address our responsibility, or ask the questions, are we responsible for the 10% or 20% of the population that falls on hard times, or are injured in a disaster, or just aren’t physically or mentally capable to work in a highly focused, technological society? And lastly we need a dialogue on whether or not government is responsible for our moral compass, i.e., legislating morality, or just to guarantee that our individual rights are protected. Maybe the size of our government is just to large to be effective, maybe it needs to be restructured into regions and become smaller with more accountability.