I got a chance to watch some of the closing remarks of the White House Health Care Forum last Thursday. The forum was being broad casted live at whitehouse.gov. I found it quite interesting and enjoyed watching Obama in action. It seems he is approaching health care reform in the right manner by bringing all the parties together to get everyone’s view on what they believe to be the right course of action. It was great to be able to watch the discussion live. Obama’s use of the Internet continues to excite me. He understands the potential and capacity the Internet offers to include citizens in government and is using it wisely.
I am not sure if the Health Care Forum will make any difference in the long run to getting reform accomplished, but I am sure it can’t hurt. Slate sums up the forum by writing;
This time, it really is different. Few would argue that the health care system is better now than it was 16 years ago, the last time a Democratic administration convened a meeting about it. At this week’s meeting, Obama was careful to include several opponents of the Democrats from 1993. And as the president pointed out, the faltering economy makes health care reform more important, not less. This week’s inclusive discussion—150 people participated—won the president goodwill and shows that there is finally a consensus on the need for reform.
There is no talking cure. So the president listened to a bunch of people complain about the current system, and the White House put up yet another Web site to foster further “discussion.” It also put together a slick slide show. As soon as the meeting was over, though, the Republican critiques started rolling in, saying that a government plan could crowd out private insurers, while the complaint from the left was that the forum didn’t go far enough in advocating for a single-payer government plan. This summit may have made Obama look good, but it hardly advanced the cause of heath care reform.
I am not very happy with Slate’s tone on this. Here is the gov. health care reform website they are referring to; when they state “yet another website to foster ‘discussion'” it annoys me. I understand the complaint that the Obama administration is creating a website for every issue and continuing to to ask for citizen participation that they may have not intention of actually paying attention to. However, I doubt this complaint really holds merit and posting information up on the web can only help to education the population. I wish the Obama administration the best of luck in bringing health care to all Americans. The fact that an American goes bankrupt every 30 seconds from health care costs is shameful.