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By the narrowest of margins, the U.S. Senate voted to bring President Obama’s health care reform bill to the floor for debate. The 60-39 vote ensures there will be no filibuster, but does not guarantee that the bill will pass. Key Democrats that voted to move the bill forward express serious reservations about the way the bill is currently crafted. Few believe the bill will pass in its current form.

QUESTIONS:

  1. The health care reform debate has been quite divisive. What conflict management approaches could be applied and how effective might they be? When two sides disagree, we often hear calls for compromise. What are the drawbacks to this conflict management style?
  2. Evaluate the handling of this debate in terms of the three criteria of effective negotiation.
  3. When Senate majority leader Harry Reid negotiated to get Senators Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln to vote in favor of moving the bill forward was it distributive or integrative negotiation?

SOURCE: J. Fritze, “Negotiations Begin Anew Over Health Bill,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-11-22-health-negotiations_N.htm)

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