The health care law that is the signature legislation of President Obama's term in office received the 5-4 backing of the Supreme Court last week.
The ruling brings with a long list of winners and losers, as would any legislation as sweeping as this national health care law.
But this much is certain: Local people interviewed by the Sun-Gazette who either are uninterested in the nuances of the law or believe it doesn't affect them will soon be interested and will find the law does effect them very much.
Start with the fact that they will be required to have health care or pay a fine to the IRS. Add in that this government takeover of health care curtails Medicare spending and raises taxes in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Kick in the forced health care cost increases to employers that will probably stunt employment or push them to discontinue health care coverage of workers, who will have to get their coverage under other provisions of the act. And consider the certain increased government costs that will add to an already monstrous federal debt.
It is true that the act improves accessibility to health care and is a help to individuals with pre-existing conditions who need coverage. And the ruling helps hospitals, adding millions of people to the rolls of the insured, expanding the pool of health care consumers. But all of those provisions could have been part of necessary, but targeted, heath care reform legislation.
The high court's embracing of Obama's plan creates a massive expansion of government and a new tax individually mandated payments will be collected by the IRS as with any other tax with the cost inflicted on everyone.
Oh yes, the health care law will effect residents here and all Americans.
We endorse efforts by Congress to somehow blunt parts of this law and replace it with practical health care reform that has been needed for years and advocated in this space.