Back in 1997, House Speaker Newt Gingrich reached across the political aisle to create a bipartisan coalition with President Clinton to address the budget and Medicare and Social Security reform. These efforts made a big and positive impression on the public psyche.By contrast, the recent battles over health insurance reform have completely lacked any kind of consensus-building. First, Obamacare was forced through with only Democratic votes, and the Republican “repeal and replace” drive is following the same path.On an issue as complex and central to our lives as health insurance, there should be bipartisan compromise. Here’s how Republican senators should attempt it.First, the Republicans should offer to keep the popular Medicaid expansion, especially because 20 Republican senators represent the 31 states that have it. True, Medicaid is filled with waste and cumbersome paperwork. But rather than cut it, a better solution is to connect a basic scaled-down product with a built-in bridge to jobs programs and premium support for increased services.Second, I would remove the section that defunds Planned Parenthood. This gesture would attract Democratic votes. Defunding Planned Parenthood may be part of the GOP platform, but it has nothing to do with the health care law and should be addressed separately if at all.Third, a consensus over high-risk pools… Read full this story
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