Really I wish I had not. Usually I don't but I made an exception yesterday because I am interested in health care.
On the Obama Health Care side were Rachel Maddow, Tom Daschle, Bill Ritter, and Charlie Rangel. I suppose really I should include the show's host, David Gregory, because his position seems pretty clear to me.
Opposition included Tom Coburn and Dick Armey.
There was a fellow from the Chamber of Commerce but I missed what side he was on if he actually said.
I agreed with Senator Coburn which shouldn't surprise anyone really
.Just as an aside I actually received a telephone call from Senator Coburn's office regarding Alzheimer's and my own caregiver role during the time I was caregiving. He was the only senator that took any interest at all in any of the letters and emails I wrote and sent during that time. Representative Tom Cole also contacted me and I believe he was the only representative.The only thing that I know for sure is that there are two sides and they seem to me to be irreconcilable.
The Democratic position as nearly as I can tell is that "they" (meaning the Democrats in power) are in favor of improving health care and that anyone opposing is in favor of either the status quo, depriving more people of health care, and/or making health care actually worse than it is.
In terms of policy the Democrats seem to favor a government controlled health care system. They would accomplish that goal with either a government system alongside the private, or a single payer system. Eventually they would like to move to total control of all medical facilities and personnel. This they say offers the greatest opportunity for cost savings by eliminating administrative bureaucracy.
The Democrats see two very evil villains: insurance companies and anyone else who oppose them. And they are not shy about excoriating their opponents.
The Republicans are adamantly opposed both philosophically and practically. However, the Republicans did agree that health care could and should be improved. They also see an evil villain, namely the Democrats.
Actually Rachel Maddow seemed particularly angry with Dick Armey. Daschle was more angry with Coburn. Rangel was just angry at everyone.
I am pretty sure if Rachel Maddow was in charge of health care that Dick Armey would be on his way to a "government clinic" to be prepared for "going home" (using language from Soylent Green).
The Democrats have the votes to pretty much do anything they want regardless of the Republican opposition. So it seems to me that the public debate and town hall meetings and so on are public relation efforts.
That said the Democrats are not tone deaf to public sentiment either and public sentiment so far is not favorable toward too much government.
Still my guess is that some kind of reform bill will make it into law. Everyone will claim victory and we'll all go on our merry way.