On Health Care, the Ball is in Voters’ Court

Posted on July 2, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

By Scott Orr

Crowds outside the Supreme Court await the justices decision on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday in Washington, DC.

The Supreme Court’s surprise decision upholding the healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare cemented its place as the pivotal issue in an increasingly hot presidential campaign.

For GOP challenger Mitt Romney, the issue has been a troubling one since he backed some of the law’s themes as governor of Massachusetts. Still, he was quick to signal that his opposition to the law would continue to be a keystone of his campaign.

Romney’s campaign launched a new theme after the decision: People v. Obamacare, which he is hoping will become synonymous with Romney v. Obama. “Obamacare is bad medicine, it is bad policy, and when Mitt Romney is president, the bad news of Obamacare will be over. This November it’s all on the line. The stakes couldn’t be higher,” the campaign said.

For his part, Obama signaled some willingness to tweak the law, though he said he remains committed to the law and its implementation.

“The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were,” Obama said

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll issued on Sunday, support for the healthcare law increased in the wake of the ruling, though most Americans continue to oppose it. Among all registered voters, support for the law rose to 48 percent, from 43 percent before the court decision.

The poll contained hollow succor for the President’s reelection campaign, especially considering that among the crucial independent voting block support for the law was only 38 percent, though that was up from 27 percent before the ruling.

These numbers pose more questions than they answer: Is opposition as deep and committed as it would seem from the super-heated reaction rhetoric? Is the American electorate ready to decide on its next leader based on this one issue alone? What about the economy, stupid?

The Republicans have scheduled a new vote on repealing the law for next week in the House. This is a political exercise that will accomplish nothing other than allowing GOP lawmakers to vent anew.

There are clearly some flaws in the law that could have longer term impacts on the economy and those need to be fixed. But reforming the reform is something that can happen no matter who wins the White House in the fall.

Healthcare reform is an important issue, don’t get us wrong. But the law is not the threat to the republic its opponents would suggest and, to be sure, there are other worthy issues that need to be factored into the electoral calculus.

We hope voters will be deaf to the shrill rhetoric from both sides and make their November decisions based on the totality of the issues, not the politically driven miasma of commentary arising from the court’s action.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.

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One Response to “On Health Care, the Ball is in Voters’ Court”

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The Healthcare law and decision will evolve as a political issue, more focus from the proponents who have largely been silent as the public has been whipped into a false frenzy–the frenzy is real enough the desire for cash contributions, but the issues will not sustain. The businesses who will implement it see it as as not a great change for most, and the false frenzy has already quieted into a relief for certainty- we know what we face and we deal with it. For individuals the benefits start to resonate– the insurance industry no longer determines who can be insured–that is the most important factor in the law–and the one which caused the appearance of a landslide against it–the industry feels it must set prices and policies in order to protect its enormous profits- trillions of dollars are at stake over a long period of implementation and increased coverage, Industry feels it must retain control over the public and not the other way around —you know that little Democracy thing–we the people–so as November approaches,I think the hysteria will fade into consideration of ‘what is it that we owe to the greedy insurance business’ that to me- and millions of others seems intent on strangling the economy by adding unbearable levels of expense to almost everything we do–like drive a car, own a home, run a business, get a minimal amount of medical care. Ultimately the appeals to selfishness will begin to fail– i will pay more so that sick children are not condemned by profit seeking insurers to be lift out of life saving care. i dont want to see the elderly given short shrift because we presume they will die soon anyway. I don’t want to see profits put before human life. So i will pay more, i believe in my country, I want to see my fellow citizens enjoy health and long life–even after seeing the way they drive their cars, use their guns and votes in such a incredibly reckless manner…;)
and i think the GOP which has done as much as they can to sink the economy for the last four years, cutting off hundreds of thousands of jobs will now have to answer– given that Corporate America is largely in their political base–where are the jobs you have created compared to the ones we have seen you take away from us…will be an interesting answer…HDM

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