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An extraordinarily stupid idea

September 1, 2009 - Mike Maneval

Following the death of U.S. Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, D-Mass., the idea began circulating that the health reform package should bear his name in honor of the legislator's dedication to the issue. But this recommendation ignores some important truths about the legislation and about the nature of compromise.

To get a plan to the President's desk for his signature, a lot of compromises will almost certainly have to be made. What needs to be remembered is that people from all perspectives and all walks of life, from the office-holders themselves down to the engaged voting public, will more than likely be SATISFIED with the final bill - not happy, not enthusiastic or ebullient. Everyone from liberals to conservatives to progressives to neo-agrarians - if there is such a thing - will be able to point to shortcomings and other perceived failings of the final proposal. For a bill to successfully build a consensus and pass, it has to have enough appeal to everyone to leave no one believing that it is the "perfect" solution or even the most ideal solution. And for that reason, it's a poor vehicle to immortalize or honor anyone. Hence, this effort does not aid the bill but only serves as a distraction to the difficult work of hammering out those compromises.


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