The Edmond Sun

July 16, 2012

OUR VIEW: Vote did little to help

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Last week’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal health care reform was little more than showboating for the cameras. The 244-185 vote does little more than put representatives on record — again for the 30th time — as to where they stand with the massive reform measure. We don’t really need yet another vote to tell us where our representatives fall on this issue.

What we do need is for Congress to deal with the mess they have made. It still seems as if the country fell down the proverbial rabbit hole into an alternate universe when the Affordable Care Act miraculously gained enough votes to pass. Businesses and individuals are scrambling to decipher the myriad new regulations. It creates uncertainty in almost every sphere of influence because no one truly knows what will happen next.

As more people immerse themselves in the details of the law, more people continue to unfavorably rate the act.

There are many ways to fix the problems with our current health care system, but we doubt that creating 20 new taxes, including one on the sales price of homes for those with incomes above a certain level, will ever actually solve real issues in the health care field.

While many expressed disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the fact that the majority opinion ruled the individual mandate as a tax may actually help Congress find a way to straighten out this mess. It’s an opportunity to take a new look at the law and legitimately re-craft the legislation into a bill that might make some sort of logical sense. We’re a bit mystified how a tax on tanning, for example, fixes the plight of the uninsured or the cratering Medicare system.

We need a health care law that does not exclude 80 percent of the insurance plans currently offered by small businesses to employees. We need a law that does not exclude 64 percent of large employer health plans. In fact, we need a law that makes the system easier to use and that encourages doctors to remain in practice, not one that makes them hate their job when they get up every morning.

Any time government tries to pass one-size-fits-all solutions, we’ve found that those solutions often fall far short of their promised goals.

Congress made this mess and Congress needs to start taking some responsibility to fix it instead of showboating votes that they know are meaningless before they even happen.