Feb 082010
 
Authors: Ian Bezek, Josh Phillips

Obama’s health care summit a facade
By Josh Phillips

At a glance, Obama’s health care summit gives the impression that he has finally resolved to achieve bipartisanship while in office. The sudden motivation to reach across party lines comes nearly one month after Scott Brown’s surprise win in Massachusetts.

Some consider this a good move, and others are skeptical of Obama’s true motivations.
Naturally, I fall in the latter category. Obama has lived up to a minimal amount of campaign promises, including one that suggested bipartisanship was forthcoming.

There is no reason to trust this man to keep to his word. The health care summit is merely another chance for him to get his face on TV.

Despite the man’s inability to remain true to his word, it would be foolish to underestimate his ability to use TV spots, double-talk and trendy catchphrases to ingeniously market himself and his agenda. 

Republicans and other opponents must remain steadfast in their determination to kill the health bill and should approach the summit with suspicion and skepticism. 

No doubt Obama and his buddies will continue to label Republicans “the party of no,” but after a year filled with failure and lackluster accomplishments, his opinion carries much less weight.

Don’t misunderstand me; I place high value in the ability to reach a common goal with those we typically disagree with. This health care feud, however, has been pressed for a few decades now, and hopefully the third time will be the charm in banishing it forever.
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Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com._

Obama’s move toward bipartisanship smart
By Ian Bezek

I would tend to agree with Josh that I have muted expectations for President Obama’s bipartisan health care summit.

But, in going along with the theme of my column on Monday, I applaud Obama for taking a step toward the center and toward bipartisanship. President Clinton revived his fortunes by working with Republicans and Obama can do so as well.

I have no idea if Obama is genuinely interested in bipartisanship now; he’s been talking about it for months now without his words sprouting any fruit. With that said I’m hopeful that he will actually listen to Republicans this time.

Health care reform is too important for us to, as Josh said, be “banishing it forever.” Health care is sucking up an increasingly large portion of our nation’s economic output.

If we don’t get health care costs under control, we will start having to drastically cutting services elsewhere to make up for the tumor that is our medical system.

Clearly the plan that just died in the House wasn’t the answer. Had Obama’s plan passed, in all likelihood, health care would have cost us even more than before.

That, obviously, was unacceptable.

But just because Obama’s first plan was dead on arrival doesn’t mean that we can ignore health care.

And now, Obama has a chance to press the reset button and begin the debate anew. By working with Republicans, I believe there is at least some chance of our government finding some answers to the health care quagmire.

On the other hand, if we stick our heads in the sand and hope the status quo fixes itself, we’ll surely be disappointed.
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Editorials editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column regularly appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com._

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