The Obama-Biden Transition Team website has been generating a great deal of discussion for its innovative approaches and potential effects (or lack thereof) on key aspects of federal government policymaking. The recent Join the Discussion: Healthcare feature on the Change.gov blog stimulated a 3,701-comment-conversation about important health care issues.
But wait! There’s more!
The video response from former Senator (and head of the Obama healthcare transition team, at least until his HHS nomination is announced) Tom Daschle and Laura Arnonson (Obama healthcare policy team member) regarding the healthcare discussion generated over 4,400 comments since Tuesday afternoon — and counting!
Open, extensive conversations about healthcare issues and policy ideas are obviously very near and dear to our heart here at Disruptive Women. But what impact, if any, do you think the Change.gov approach will have on healthcare reform? What are your reactions to Daschle and Aronson’s video response to the blog comment discussion?
Here’s the video from Daschle and Aronson:
Over on his Washington Monthly Political Animal blog, Steve Benen noted the historical significance of the Change.gov blog, even though “the idea of setting up a website and accepting public comments doesn’t sound especially revolutionary” at first glance:
Historically, government-related sites have avoided public comments. The medium was about one-way communication, not two. To this extent, we’re already seeing the beginnings of a significant shift. George W. Bush ran an operation that stifled dissent and kept opposing viewpoints as far away from policy makers as possible.
On the ZDNet Healthcare blog, Dana Blankenhorn considered how the President-Elect’s effort “to drive the health care debate, from the bottom up” might affect the health care reform process, especially considering “how policy debates typically play out”:
Interest groups lay down markers, then go into small meetings and hash something out, which goes to Congress in order to die. The question is whether the Internet will be allowed to break through this.
The question is whether ordinary citizens who are not inclined to support the new Administration will participate, or whether they will rely on top-down organizations to oppose it.
On Covering Health, Ed Silverman reacted to the blog discussion and video response from Daschle and Arnonson, which, he explained, reviewed “a couple of key issues and the overall response to their effort”:
To be candid, there wasn’t much said that we don’t already know. Daschle, at various turns, says things such as, “We need to really put the emphasis on prevention” and later, “We need to contain costs.” To be fair, the willingness to engage the public in this way is worth noting. After all, when was the last time that HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt deliberately spoke to Americans by way of YouTube? Send us a clip if you have one. Meanwhile, Daschle promises more online discussions are forthcoming. (more…)