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The Suburbanite
  • What’s ahead for health care: Problem-solving or gridlock?

  • The issue: Supreme Court ruling on health care law

    Our view: Law is far from ideal, but repeal is no answer, either

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  • The issue: Supreme Court ruling on health care law
    Our view: Law is far from ideal, but repeal is no answer, either
    The hard work of health care reform is far from finished, despite the Supreme Court’s surprising ruling Thursday.
    Will Congress and the president find a way to work together to get the job done? Will Republicans and Democrats find common ground to tackle the problems that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t address?
    In this poisonous political climate, it’s doubtful. No one knows this better than Ohioans who saw how the partisan fight over the state’s collective bargaining law for public employees played out last year.
    The court’s 5-4 ruling to uphold virtually the entire health care law came as a surprise to many, primarily because conservative Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote. Nothing about a 5-4 split on the court should be surprising, especially on the issue of government involvement in health care.
    Divided country, divided Congress, divided court.
    No matter what the court decided, the ruling was bound to ignite the presidential campaign.
    President Obama and his fellow Democrats are celebrating both a victory for uninsured Americans and the vindication of their biggest legislative achievement since Obama took office. Now they will create endless opportunities on the campaign trail to demonize Republican opponents of the law.
    On the Republican side, the ruling is a huge blow — and a rallying point for support of Mitt Romney. The court’s rationale that the mandate to buy health insurance is a kind of tax, which Congress can impose, guarantees that the two words Republican candidates will say most often between now and November are “tax” and “repeal.”
    The Repository editorial board opposed the federal health care law because it was too big and too complex, contained too many unknowns and did too little to rein in costs. But repealing the law is no answer, either.
    All-or-nothing politics in the wake of this ruling is not the answer. But it’s the answer Americans will get unless voters lay down a mandate of their own for the politicians they elect: Look for common ground with your opponents to solve both the problems that this law creates and the problems that it doesn’t address.