Monday, February 22, 2010

Healthcare Summit

This week President Obama brings together Congressional leaders from both parties to discuss healthcare reform. Unfortunately, the cameras will roll at these meetings. The President should consider changing those plans. He should consider making them closed meetings. Why? Consider that our Constitutional Convention more than 200 years ago took place in private so that delegates could discuss big ideas frankly and candidly, and so that they could introduce innovative ideas for discussion. Similarly, in a more recent example, the 1983 Social Security reform took shape behind closed doors. Ultimately, of course, the ideas from both of these private, momentous meetings had to be approved in a public vote. However, people crafted these ideas in an atmosphere that promoted candid dialogue and open discussion of novel ideas.


Regret said...

While I'm a first time reader of your blog, I would suggest that this view of Thursday's health care event is dangerously naive. I don't think anyone expects to introduce or discuss "innovative" or "novel" ideas now. This is a last ditch effort to salvage something from the political fiasco that this administration has wrought for the Democrats in Congress and for the President himself. You are right that open meetings of this type would be an ineffective way to have an open dialogue, but there's zero chance a comprehensive healthcare bill can pass now no matter in what format the discussions take place.

Harmony Hills Church said...

I would hesitate to use the term naive. As a former political operative, I know this is really about showmanship. However, Prof Roberto's comment still resonates in that if this was really about helping the country, Prof. Roberto's idea would actually benefit the country. Throughout history, politicians of conscience would work together for the sake of the country.