"Whenever Congress undertakes large-scale reform, there are times when disaster appears certain — only to be averted at the last minute by the good sense of its sometimes unfairly maligned members."
That's the assessment of Bill Bradley, a former U.S. Senator from New Jersey, as well as a former tax loophole for the New York Knicks.
In a New York Times' op-ed, Bradley notes how his time as an NBA depreciable asset helped in the 1986 passage of the historic tax reform measure.
Twenty-three years later, Representatives and Senators need to find similar creative but effective legislative ways for Democrats and Republicans to reach an agreement on health care reform.
I was working on Capitol Hill in 1986. I remember the dissension and partisanship, but I also remember how lawmakers were able to put a common goal above their political bickering and, more importantly, compromise.
A possible give-and-take in the health care debate, says Bradley, is combining universal coverage Democrats want with medical malpractice tort reform that's on the Republican wish list.
"The August recess has given each party and its constituencies a chance to reassess their respective strategies," writes Bradley. "One result, let us hope, may be that Congress will surprise everyone this fall."