Polarization Poisons Healthcare Debate

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Healthcare is one of the issues citied as most important by potential voters of both parties.  Presidential candidates all trumpet their plans. But Democrats and Republicans sound as if they're in different worlds. One side advocates "universal healthcare" while the other warns against "government interference" and "socialized medicine." In last night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had a nasty exchange about whose healthcare plan covers the most people. In his campaign, Republican Mitt Romney has moved away from a comprehensive healthcare plan he signed while Governor of Massachusetts. Comparisons between the US and British medical systems made by Rudy Giuliani in radio ads about his battle with prostate cancer have been attacked as inaccurate. Are candidates' plans as different as they sound? When the election finally is over, what are the chances of bridging the gap? Will necessary compromise fall victim to political polarization on Capitol Hill?




Warren Olney