College Students Sound Off on Health Care During Debate 

A political debate turned heated at times Monday, on the campus of the University of Maine. College Democrats and Republicans squared off during a wide-ranging forum, practicing the art of debate.Hot on the heels of the health care reform bill passing in the House, they made their thoughts on the issue known.”The bill is garbage from the ground up. It’s the epitome of corruption in the United States political system,” says Zach Jackman.Zach Jackman is the president of the College Republicans. Ben Goodman heads the College Democrats.”Republicans want to talk about process because they know they’re wrong. They know they don’t have solutions, they know they’re morally bankrupt,” Goodman says.While health care was top of mind for many, these politically minded students had even more to debate, including other domestic issues and even foreign policy. Their arguments at some points drew sharp criticism from the other side, but Jackman says that’s what it’s all about.”You can support something you stand for all your life, but if nobody ever challenges you on it, then you’re never going to know how to defend it,” Jackman says.Ross Wolland says he was pleased to find out on some issues they shared views more similar than different, like on gay marriage.”I think more of these debates should take place. It’s always good to get people together, especially young people who are hopefully going to be making these decisions down the road. It’s good to gauge how they feel,” Wolland says.Professor Mark Brewer says he hopes debates like this bring more young people into the political conversation.”Maybe it can spark some interest and get them talking about this and participate more in the future,” he says. “I think that’s what we’re aiming for here.”