Health care Rx

Anyone interested in current efforts to "reform" health care in the U.S. has a special opportunity tonight to be informed. Howard Dean and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to debate the issue at 7:30 p.m. at the Show Me Center. The debate is part of Southeast Missouri State University's speaker series. A wellness fair will start at 6:15 p.m. prior to the debate.

Dean and Gingrich are well-informed and outspoken on the issue of health care. Dean favors far-reaching reforms that would provide coverage to nearly everyone who wants it. Gingrich argues that some of the proposed reforms are too costly to be practical.

Both men are particularly well-suited for this debate. Dean is a medical doctor who served as the governor of Vermont and chairman on the Democratic National Committee. Gingrich is a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representative. Both men have founded organizations to promote their views on health care.

Much of today's Opinion page is devoted to op-ed columns by Dean and Gingrich regarding health care. These informative pieces offer a glimpse of the quality of arguments each man can be expected to put forth at tonight's debate, which is a rare opportunity for a close-up look at a national issue.