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Our View: High court disappoints in ruling on Obamacare

Posted: July 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week on the mandate aspect of Obamacare is among the bigger mistakes that body has made in the last century. The ruling sets the stage to make it easier for greater intrusion by the federal government in Americans’ lives.

The decision could lead to the government imposing additional mandates on Americans for just about anything — and that should be troubling to all Americans no matter what their political persuasion.

Many were surprised that the court upheld Obama’s mandate that Americans must have health insurance or pay a penalty. The Supreme Court in its ruling simply called this penalty a “tax,” which makes the ruling even more onerous.

Is government intrusion on our lives that easy? Just call it a tax and that will explain it away? We hope not, but this decision opens the door for that.

Yes, the nation’s health care system needs reform. Providing quality health care for everybody is an expensive endeavor, but we believe all citizens of this country should have access to decent care when they are sick.

The answer, however, is not imposing a tax on the populace; it lies in creating a public-private partnership to solve this problem — and solving it in a way that makes sense.

We believe that Congress must push this change no matter who is president.

The  basic flaw in the complex collection of reforms labeled Obamacare is its mandate that everyone carry health insurance, clearing the way for government to force Americans to conduct a consumer transaction.

Yes, the government has the power to force us to take certain actions: to serve in the military, for example, or to pay income taxes. But these actions constitute the basic underpinnings of governmental infrastructure that hold this country together.

Forcing residents to obtain health insurance — to purchase a product — goes beyond any authority we Americans have granted our federal government.

Obamacare’s mandate is too severe and too intrusive into the lives of the average American. That’s its main problem. Its high price tag is another problem.

“Taxing” Americans to pay for health care, as the Supreme Court interpretation allows, is not the answer. The federal government, as well as our state government, needs to learn how to solve problems without raising taxes.

So, where do we go from here? The Supreme Court has ruled on Obamacare, and we must respect its decision.

But we also believe that Congress should repeal at least the mandate part of this law and come up with an alternative health care reform plan that doesn’t tread so heavily on American freedoms.

Congress, the president, health care companies, insurers, health care providers and American citizens themselves need to come together and figure out a more affordable health care model for this country that combines sensible doses of free market forces with government guidance.


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