President Barack Obama delivers a health care reform address, Wednesday night, to a joint session of Congress. And, a University of Central Missouri political science professor believes the President will outline a compromise aimed at helping push reform legislation through Congress. But Professor Shari Bax realizes finding compromise will be a most difficult task.
"Everybody wants – quote, unquote – real health care reform," said Bax in an interview with the Missourinet. "But what they consider real health care reform is different from what their neighbor considers real health care reform. And until we’re willing to talk through those issues and pass that divide, get past breaking things down into ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘for’ and ‘against’ and negotiate and compromise I don’t see a long-term resolution to the health care debate."
Despite her doubts, Bax believes the President will go all out to make his pitch that a deal is attainable if each side is willing to give a little.
"I do believe we expect, during his speech, to see him working a compromise," said Bax. "I do believe we expect to see him being the one that’s kind of managing that debate and hearing all sides and trying to put together the different parties so they’re on the same team."
Obama has used similar approaches to get other legislation through Congress, but Bax isn’t sure he can use the same approach this time.
"I’m not sure how successful he’s going to be using the exact same strategy as he used to get previous legislation through," said Bax. "The Democrats want to have their mark on this legislation, too. This is important to them. They are new Congress and they want to be able to claim some credit, too."
Democrats have solid majorities in both the Senate and House, but differences between liberal and so-called Blue Dog Democrats in both chambers could stand in the way of the President achieving substantial health care reform.