Follow-up on Health Care Reform Chances

 As I wrote yesterday, the chances of California passing health care reform this year is dimming. Yet the consumer groups and unions joining together to attack Governor Schwarzenegger’s plan are creating an awkward situation for themselves: the front runners for the Democratic presidential nomination have proposals remarkably similar to that proposed by California’s Governor.

My thanks to reader David who, in his comment on that past, cited a San Francisco Chronicle article which reached the same conclusion. It’s worth reading this article and I mention it here to make it easier to find.

The article draws comparisons between Senator Hillary Clinton’s and Governor Schwarzenegger’s health care reform proposal, then quotes Barbara O’Connor, professor of political communication at California State University at Sacramento, as saying, “‘I think they are more similar than they are not – and I’m disappointed it’s been cast as a partisan debate. That means we won’t get a solution. I think it’s becoming not a conflict resolution but a conflict-creating strategy.’ She said it appears that ‘clearly the goal is to define the governor as soft on industry, and it’s not going to resolve the conflict – and so health care will not get out.'”

If that’s the result it would be unfortunate. Health care reform is a tough issue. It requires thoughtful debate and the less partisan passion at the table, the better. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the direction we’re heading in.