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The Suburbanite
  • Health care ruling further polarizes local politics

  • Thursday’s Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act had Republicans calling for repeal, while Democrats argued it was time to work together.

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  • Repeal and replace could become the mantra for the Republican Party as the November election approaches.
    After Thursday morning’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the Affordable Care Act, Republicans across the country responded with a cry to elect Mitt Romney and repeal Obamacare.
    Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor addressing reporters in a conference call might have summed up the position best.
    “We believe the court went the wrong way,” Taylor said. “Our hope is that a new White House and a new Congress will take care of it next year.”
    Democrats countered the fight should be over.
    “I hope today’s ruling will put an end to the partisan bickering so that we can continue our focus on jobs and improving the economy,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, said in a statement.
    It’s likely the November election won’t even determine which scenario will play out.
    STILL DIVIDED
    The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, sided with the court’s four liberal justices and voted to uphold the individual mandate based on Congress’ power to tax.
    Although disappointed by the ruling, Republicans grabbed and ran with Roberts’ contention that the health care mandate is a tax. Office holders, candidates and political groups were quick to call the law the biggest tax increase in history.
    Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, called the law a “flawed policy that is unaffordable for our families, our small businesses and our government.” The law has hurt the economy, stalled job creation and increased Washington spending, he said.
    Even though it’s been listed as constitutional, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, said the law “has raised taxes, gutted Medicare, increased premiums, added burdensome regulations and substantially increased the cost of health care for American families.”
    Renacci, who represents Ohio’s 16th District, and U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeland, with the 7th District, both said the existing law must be repealed. Gibbs called the law a drag on the economy and that it has made it tougher for small businesses to hire workers.
    NEW COURSE NEEDED?
    While Democrats suggested the fight should end, they didn’t say work to reform health care was over.
    “While there is still more work to do to lower health care costs for all Americans, Congress needs to get its priorities straight; we will never get ahead unless the focus is on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track,” said U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley, who is challenging Renacci for the 16th District seat.
    Joyce Healy-Abrams, a Democrat seeking the 7th District seat, said it’s time for a bipartisan health care plan to help middle class families. She said Congress had failed to help families cope with rising health care costs.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The Affordable Care Act does some good things. But it needs to do more to cut costs for Ohio families and small businesses,” Healy-Abrams said. “There are things we need to improve, and yet no one in Congress is offering real ideas to fix it.”
    ANOTHER VIEW
    The Libertarian Party has a different stance on Thursday’s ruling, stating in its release that the decision doesn’t matter.
    “Why? Because almost all elected Republicans and Democrats are Big Government politicians — in all things — including health care,” the party said in its statement.
    Jeffrey J. Blevins, a Wadsworth resident and Libertarian candidate for the 16th District, called the ruling devastating and disheartening.
    He believed the law should have been repealed in its entirety. Instead, Justice Roberts legislated from the bench, Blevins said.
    “Our national backstop for constitutional protection has once again failed Americans,” Blevins said. “It is imperative that we the people elect candidates who will only approve the nomination of justices who display an honest understanding of our forefathers' intent of limited government.”