Niagara Gazette


July 2, 2012

EDITORIAL: Remarkable restraint displayed in health care ruling


Niagara Gazette —

And to be sure, if our health care system is to be reformed it can only come by virtue of vigorous public discourse and then an election. Who we selected to enact such reform was a matter of intense debate. It would seem obvious that those who lost it passionately disagree with the result. Such is life in a representative democracy. If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans alike can agree on, it’s this: You win some, you lose some.

The merits of Democratic health care reform should never have been the issue in this decision. Taking a step back it should be obvious that Congress is the only branch of government with the authority to act on such matters and while they controlled it, Democrats did just that. For what it’s worth, it seems clear in Chief Justice Roberts’ less-than-ringing endorsement of the Democratic legislation, even in siding with its constitutionality (he said it “isn’t the court’s job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices,”) that the court’s conservatives would have written the law much differently were it their prerogative.

Thankfully, Roberts sided with the court’s liberals in acknowledging it isn’t.

With their ruling Thursday, the court rightly asserted that the future of our nation’s health care system should be decided in the political arena and, ultimately, at the voting booth. Democrats must now own this law.

Surely Republicans oppose it. And after they’re doing speaking their peace, we will vote again. It’s what we do.

In stepping back from the brink, the court has reaffirmed an incredibly important principle: Ultimately, the most important voice in drafting the laws we live by belongs to the men and women the voters choose to do it.

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