Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Messy Business of Democracy

PBS's award-winning series Frontline has produced a documentary on the recent health-reform legislation called Obama's Deal.

The program "reveals the dramatic details of how an idealistic president pursued the health care fight--despite the warnings of many of his closest advisers--and how he ended up making deals with many of the powerful special interests he had campaigned against."

The complete broadcast can be viewed online.

Most interesting are the widely diverging viewer comments in the site, expressing outrage (from both sides of the political aisle) about the legislation or the documentary's supposed biases; offering counter-perspectives (from other countries); and occasionally noting appreciation for what has been accomplished thus far.

A sample:
Although I'm in agreement with the notion that a nation as successful and capable as the United States should insure every American is provided with basic health care coverages and services, I detest how we got here, and do not believe that we have achieved "reform" in any serious regard. I have looked at the tea party uprisings in America with disdain and looked on in horror at how polarized we have become. Yet I also believe we should throw the whole Washington insider lot out and bring into lawmaking people who will put the interests of the American people first, and stop trying to protect their political careers and the interests of big Pharma, Insurance and health care providers. We seem to have totally lost our ability to "do the right thing" in Washington.
Watch it and decide for yourself.

Photo courtesy of marcn (CC BY 2.0).

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