The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


June 29, 2012

Our View: Sustaining federal power

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the right of Congress to require Americans to purchase health care insurance.

The historic decision about the legality of the Affordable Care Act — President Barack Obama’s signature legislation — is a legal opinion based on the court’s interpretation of the Constitution.

It is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation of the health care act, but rather a decision that should move America beyond the debate over the legality of the law.

Much remains to be accomplished in terms of providing needed health care for all Americans. The ACA is only a first step and it could be removed as federal law, depending on the winner of the November election.

While some may disagree with the how the Supreme Court reached its decision, we believe its decision will stand. We seriously doubt the court will revisit that decision in the future.

The real decision now is where we go in terms of providing health care to the nation.

The new law will penalize — the court says it’s a tax — individuals who can afford to buy health insurance as determined by income guidelines, but who choose not to do so. People who fall below those guidelines will either receive subsidies or will qualify for Medicaid.

The Supreme Court made the tough legal call. However, most of the items addressed within the law won’t take effect until 2014, well after November’s national elections.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican House and Senate leaders have said they will repeal the health care law if they win at the polls. Obama and Democratic House and Senate leaders are just as determined to preserve the law.

The Supreme Court decision is only one of two hurdles the law must clear.

 Voters will ultimately decide if the law stands.





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