Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Battle Continues: Big Governement vs. Small Government

President Obama recently released his health care plan, a detailed outline of his plan to overhaul the country’s health care system, as well as provide affordable medical insurance. But where in the Constitution does it say that they government must provide health care to citizens? The debate over big government vs. small government has been around since our country was founded. How involved should the government be, in regards to taxes, legislation, and social services? Political parties have been based around these issues, as seen from the very beginning with the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. The health care reform legislation has been held up in Congress, as the parties dispute the details. Legislators are going over the 600 page bill, but continue to dispute the two biggest concerns, a whether to create a new public plan to compete with the private market, and whether to require employers to cover their workers. Many Republicans have suggested that the bill is too costly, and limits personal choices in health care, while Democrats are stress the importance of providing affordable health care for as many people as possible.

This is a great time to discuss with your students the evolution of political parties, which can get pretty confusing. Even though it’s not an election year, political parties play a major role in our government, and the more students understand them the better. A great way to do this is in the context of big government vs. small government. Have your students create a chart, showing the evolution of political parties from their inception through today.

The Center’s Headed to White House Website may be helpful to you and your students, as well as The Great New Party lesson plan.

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