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Bill George
Scholar/Former CEO

Bill George

Bill George is a management professor at the Harvard Business School, the former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Inc., and the author of several best-selling books on leadership. His latest release is 7 Lessons for
Leading in Crisis

A big price to pay

This week's health care summit presents Republican leaders with a difficult choice: (1) agree to support a plan that might be modestly changed to accommodate their ideas; or (2) oppose it on principle as too costly and intrusive and use the issue to try to gain political advantage in November. Which strategy offers them the best prospect of regaining power?

Republicans can ill afford to continue being the party of "no" when President Obama convenes the health care summit this week. They need to present constructive solutions to the nation's health-care problems, not just let current problems grow into an out-of-control crisis. Newt Gingrich's ideas on health care would be a good starting point for constructive solutions.

On the other hand, the Democrats need to get serious about genuine compromise that will gain broad-based support. They should focus on health-care changes that will work in practice, rather than negotiating modest changes from the current bills in the hopes of picking off one or two Republican senators. For them the Baucus bill represents a better starting point than the compromised legislation that the president and Democratic leaders tried to forge before Scott Brown's victory.

The reality is that health care is so complicated that lawmakers will never produce legislation that is acceptable to all the special interest groups, from the insurance industry to labor unions. Instead, they need to make practical, workable changes to improve health care on a step-by-step basis with allowance for local and state initiatives.

If the two parties fail to work toward a centrist bill, albeit a modest one, voters will continue to lose faith in our elected representatives and incumbents in both parties will pay a big price next November.

By Bill George

 |  February 23, 2010; 5:47 AM ET
Category:  Congressional leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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katzedes - herein lies the problem and you said it "Let us know what you are giving us and when."

Paying for disincentivized people to NOT work, NOT provide their own health care, NOT house and feed himself or herself IS the problem.

The bills are so flawed and rife with special interests that they are simply distasteful.

Americans believe that Democrats are so politically-motivated for votes...that this party will gamble away the future to buy them.

Americans can see further down the future than any politician in Washington. We say NO to this immature, corrupt, and self-serving legislation.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | February 24, 2010 12:08 AM
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You are right that legislation everyone likes is a dream. So work toward a centrist bill? What has been going on in Congress?

I am amazed that one side can push it this far on their own without public support, they did do have public support. The other side cannot give input in the time the current bills have been moving, they did not give input or they gave half-hearted input quietly praying that this would die on the vine like so many others.

I do not care about partisanship because all will pay not just one or the other. If it dies then the Dems will pay for not shoving it down the throat of congress. The Reps will pay for cheating the public out of their money they are paid to "legislate" not obstruct.

You Congressmen are paid to work the details so do it, you have the bills. As someone said I watched Schoolhouse Rock, now get the bill to law. Let us know what you are giving us and when.
Thank you

Posted by: katzedes | February 23, 2010 4:11 PM
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