Well good evening and welcome to tonight's edition of Ozarks Tonight. I'm Brian Calfano, and tonight we're joined by two great examples of community activists, political activists. Lanae Gillespie who represents the Democrats or the left, but you identify with the Democratic Party. And Don Patterson, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but a Republican Conservative.
So, as we were talking about off camera, I want to get a sense from both of you about one big political issue you think is really important in 2018. And we'll start with Lanae first.
"Well, in the canvassing that we've just completed, one of the biggest issues is healthcare and people's concerns over the cost of healthcare," said Lanae. "And I think we're going to have to address that in this next session because people don't have the money to afford their health care, and I think that is an issue that we could sit down at the table and come together on."
Okay, so healthcare? Controversial though.
"Yes," said Lanae. "But, if you put the affordable care name out of it. Don't use the Affordable Care Act anymore, put that aside and let's sit down and look at trying to come up with a good health care plan. Now, the Democrats came up with the Affordable Care plan, but the Republicans have not produced any real plans to present. Why can we not get together and work together on that?"
Alright, so healthcare. Don?
"I have a little different take on it. It's like using a mechanic to do brain surgery," Don said. "Elected officials have no business being involved in the healthcare plan. They should put together the idea of how it's going to be funded."
Alright, so you're saying health care is the big issue for 2018?
"I certainly do," Don said.
Alright, so this is good. You both agree on something. Lanae, you're saying, let's change the marketing. Let's not call it the Affordable Care Act, let's not call it Obamacare, but Don, philosophically, your view is that the government shouldn't be involved?
"Yes, that is," Don said. "My feeling is that there are so many great companies that are capable of doing a plan that's already available in 14 states. Why don't we say, okay, Republicans, Democrats, get those people in a room, sit down, talk about a plan that can be used nationwide."
Okay, well, this is all good. But my question next though would be now how do you have people in the Ozarks who are going to be really passionate about this issue, people with a lot of personal experience about not being able to afford care, or whatever the issue might be, how do you get them to come together and not kill each other, cause it's going to be an emotional reaction a lot of times, and what do you do, what is the plan Lanae? What do you tell people?
"Well I tell people what we'd really like to have is Medicare for all," Lanae said. "I don't know that that's feasible at this point and time due to funding."
And Don's side isn't going to like that. Don, you hear people saying Medicare for all or Medicare for all, what do you say?
"There is the possibility that Medicare could be a plan for everybody, but, worldwide, that's really something that governments have struggled with because the funding issue is not connected to real care of the patient," Don said.
Now, do you tell folks this when you have a discussion with them and do they get mad at you?
"No, because I try to go further and explain what I think about plans that I've seen that I think if government just provided the funding, and let somebody else make the plan, everybody could be in the system," Don said.
Lanae, real quick, a follow-up to that?
"Well, we disagree a little bit here," Lanae said. "The funding has got to be done through the government. And I do believe we're going to have to have some regulation. I know when I say that it throws people-his side-off. But I think we have to have some regulation of the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies. And that's where we're going to get the cost down is dealing with that, and I think that's got to be addressed."
Now if everyone could have a discussion as rationally and calmly and politely as the two of you, I think we'd be in a lot better position both locally and nationally. On this kind of issue.
"Let me say this," Lanae said. "I do believe we're closer on issues than either side would admit. I think the issues are not that far off. It's the politics that gets involved. My party, your party."
Good points, both. We have to leave it here. Don Patterson, Lanae Gillespie, thank you so much for being in here.
Source : http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/ozarks-tonight-one-democrat-one-republican-discuss-working-together-on-healthcare/970737663866