Friday, August 14, 2009

"I think we can all agree....."

I've been watching the news coverage of the "Great Health Care Debate" with great interest. I'm extremely pleased that citizens of our great Country are taking the time to become educated, to read the proposed bills, and to speak out about their thoughts. To me, this is what Democracy is all about; citizens participating in their governance. I just hope that our politicians listen, but somehow I doubt it....and I'll tell you why.

It seems like just about everyone who supports the bill (in one form or another) starts their conversation about health care with the statement, "I think we can all agree...." Interesting. Most DON'T agree; that the health care system in irretrievably broken, that costs are totally out of control, or that it's the government that has to do something about health care. By starting their argument with the statement "I think we can all agree...." proponents of health care reform (whether their politicians or press), are using a classic debate tactic. They're trying to set the stage for the argument by getting their opponents in the discussion to agree to a premise that may (or may not) be faulty. Lawyers use this tactic all the time to get a witness (generally on cross-examination) to agree to a crucial fact or premise the lawyer wants to establish. I just hope that opponents of the proposed government takeover of health care who do not agree that the current system is irretrievably broken take the time to correct the premise. After all, if the system is broken, politicians will not be able to help themselves....they'll believe they have to get involved to "fix it."


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