Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Health Care: Round Tables, Dem. v. Rep., Pro v. Con

Since we're studying the Legislative Branch now, what else would be talking about if not Health Care? Obviously it's a very complex issue and a very complex bill (which isn't even close to being in its final form yet), but we have some expert commentary on video to help us out!

While I ABSOLUTELY encourage you to watch all 4 video clips (none is longer than 7-8 minutes), you only need to watch a total of 2. There are 2 pairs of videos, and you need only choose one video from each pair.

First of all, the 2 clips below both show a 'round table,' panel discussion of what the House vote on health care means and what might be coming next. Again, it would be great if you watched both, but you only have to pick 1 of these 2 to watch.


Now, the next 2 clips are also from the Sunday talk shows, but instead of analysts, journalists, and pundits, they involved some of the actual 'players' on both sides of the health care game. The first is a discussion with Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen (the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence (the 3rd ranking Republican in the House). The second clip is a conversation with Tim Kaine and Michael Steele, the Chairmen of the National Democratic and Republican Parties, respectively. Again, it would be great if you watched both, but you only have to pick 1 of these 2 to watch.


Obviously, there were lots of different opinions expressed in these videos, and some of them were certainly using carefully selected facts/statistics or at least being 'spun' so that they were poltically self-serving. Here are the questions on which I'll be interested to hear your thoughts:

  • On the 'round table' discussion videos, which points (either for or against the chances of health care reform being passed) seemed most important? Which seemed the most logical and to have the best arguments to back them up?
  • On the 'Republican v. Democrat' discussion videos, who seemed to win the argument in your mind? Was it the Democrat (Van Hollen, Kaine) or the Republican (Pence, Steele)? Why? Which arguments stood out to you as making the most sense?
  • I realize you may not have all the relevant background information yet, but what do you think the chances are that a major comprehensive health care reform bill will be passed in the next few months? Are you in support of this bill passing? Why/why not?
  • Any other thoughts/opinions/ideas that came to while watching these video clips and that you're dying to share?

Remember, these posts are due by Friday, November 20, the last day before Thanksgiving break. Really try to make 2 separate entries: one that is an initial reaction to the videos and the questions I've posed, and then a different posting which is more of a comment/reaction to something one of your classmates has said. Thanks--I look forward to your comments!