Editorial - Give healthcare reform a chanceThe American public is a finicky lot, especially when it comes to change. The Republicans were counting on that in the health care reform debate.
The American public is a finicky lot, especially when it comes to change. The Republicans were counting on that in the health care reform debate. But now that the vote has been taken, and the health care reform bill signed into law last Tuesday by President Barack Obama, and more details about the bill are sinking in, public opinion has moved the other way.
Last Wednesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds a plurality of Americans now think that the law is the way to go. By a margin of 49 percent to 40 percent, those polled favor the new bill as something positive. The largest single group, 48 percent, call the bill a good first step but needing more work. And that’s exactly it. The Senate has yet to approve a reconciliation bill to the new law, but even then Congress should continue tinkering with it until something is found that satisfies the most people.
It’s essentially sour grapes for losing Republicans to condemn health care reform as passed and signed into law, and to make threats of repeal. Instead of continuing their role of being naysayer to everything President Obama touches, the GOP should offer their own solutions to the idea pot and let the best rise to the surface.
As it is right now, the new law will allow people with pre-existing conditions to be insured, will remove caps on coverage, which should prevent bankruptcies caused by unpayable medical bills, and provide tax credits to small businesses struggling but still providing their employees with health insurance.
We also find it hard to understand why Governor Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Republicans want Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to join 14 other states in a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the law, especially when Pawlenty is counting on $300 million from the bill to help solve the state’s near $1 billion budget shortfall.
Government is to provide for the public safety and public health, and ensuring quality, affordable and portable health care to all Americans fits that bill.
This editorial appeared in the March 25 issue of the Bemidji Pioneer. The Pioneer and the Echo Press are owned by Forum Communications Company.