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Yash Gupta
Business School Dean

Yash Gupta

Yash Gupta is Professor and Dean of The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Patriotic imperative

Americans expect their representatives in Washington to produce results. By not collaborating, by not cooperating, by forming a "Party of No," some of them might score points at the grass-roots level of partisan politics, but they ignore the patriotic imperative, which is to serve our country. We can build a better society by building better working relationships in the halls of government. Creating consensus is one of the main roles of a leader. Our expectation of our leaders in Washington is that they work not for their own political fortune but for the good of the nation.

The fact that many millions of Americans lack essential health care is not only a political issue, it's also an economic issue. When our people are in better health, they're more productive, and that makes our economy stronger overall.

Disagreement over policy is not a bad thing. It's part of the give-and-take of statecraft. The Social Security Act, after all, took two years to pass in the midst of the Great Depression. We all realize that this isn't an easy process and that various viewpoints must be weighed. But disagreements need to be handled in a manner that's civil and professional, and not so blatantly obstructionist. The constant goal must be the greater good.

The politicians have to remember that the loyalists of each party aren't likely to change their positions; it's the people in the middle, the independents and centrists, whom the politicians have to worry about. They're usually the ones who can make or break a campaign. They're the ones who must be swayed, and they tend to insist on substance instead of slogans. To them, the brand is far less important than the actual product. If the centrists determine that certain politicians acted more obstructively than helpfully on an important issue, then those politicians might be in for a tough time when the next election rolls around.

As the administration warned last week, insurance companies are getting ready to ratchet up the cost of health care premiums. We're hearing about major increases, well into double digits, all across the country. Millions of people, especially the needy, are going to be hit hard unless our politicians live up to the trust that the voters have placed in them. Now's the time to act and finally take care of health care reform.

By Yash Gupta

 |  February 23, 2010; 11:29 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 - you might want to consider moving out of Rhode Island.

We can't afford to pay for the health care for Americans - because somewhere along the line, we decided that ILLEGAL ALIENS could get free medical care, and our politicians are too weak and politically-motivated to address it. EXCEPT for Joe Wilson - thank you, Mr. Wilson!

Enough said.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | February 23, 2010 11:35 PM
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The microcosm of the man waking up in the morning to go to work but is sick and cannot go to work to earn the money to go to the doctor much less take the time off, lose the money earned, and then spend money at the doctor to get well.

Well that seems to be a glimpse of the nation and as this gentleman said the issue is above politics and about the health of the nation. It goes on long enough and you will be dealing with the mental, as well as physical, health of the nation which means two doctors (actually three, you need one to refer you to the specialists) and more money so to waste time is to waste even more money.

I try to get health care and cannot no matter how much money I have because in my state they will not sell it to me as individual. They, insurance co,'s, have a monopoly. These are the facts in Rhode Island.

So I get it for $400 a month with this legislation. To pay 400$ a month is a small price for peace of mind to know on that day I am sick I can go to the doctor instead of major stress for me and for my family. $400 is a lot but nothing compared to possibly losing my job when they see me show up for work sick and possibly making other sick and thus costing them more money when another worker goes out. Need I go on?
Thank you
Thank you,

Posted by: katzedes | February 23, 2010 3:49 PM
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