Chalk it up to uncanny timing…a festival that is all about discussing big ideas just happened to be in session for one of the biggest ideas to come along in decades: the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.
In the last few days, organizers of the Aspen Ideas Festival quickly switched around the agenda and put together a special session on the landmark ruling, and they invited an impressive panel to participate: David Brooks, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times; Joe Klein, a columnist and senior writer at TIME; former U.S. senator Tom Daschle; and Vin Weber, a prominent and successful strategist in the Republican Party.
The panelists gave kudos to Chief Justice Roberts for his “moderate” stance and for protecting the institution of the Supreme Court from the vagaries of politics. They were undecided if the decision will ultimately help Obama in his reelelction bid, but did agree that healthcare reform is an ongoing process and a number of important revisions need to happen if the law is ultimately going to be successful in reducing costs and increasing coverage.
The notorious “death panels” were also brought up with a real substantive look at how society could deal with end-of-life care.
At times, the conversation got rather heated. (“Taxes” tends to do that.)
Words like “rotten” and “cowardly” were also heard: