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A health-care revolution

Monday, December 27, 2010

A health-care revolution

Cleveland Plain Dealer: If health care reform weren’t such a revolutionary idea, folks wouldn’t be getting so worked up about it. But if it succeeds in expanding coverage while keeping costs in check, it’s change many Americans may want.

That’s why, for all their triumphal talk during and since the fall campaign about repealing the new health care reform bill, Republicans know that as long as Barack Obama is president, their best chance of overturning the law resides in the federal courts. Thus, many were ecstatic when a federal judge in Virginia ruled that one of the reform package’s most controversial — and, its supporters say, essential — elements is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson held that requiring every American to buy health insurance goes beyond even the expansive scope of Congress’ ability to regulate interstate commerce.

Judge Hudson’s ruling is a reminder that the mandate issue remains unresolved. The coming Congress could — if Republicans can put aside their antipathy for every aspect of what they call Obamacare and if Democrats are open-minded to its flaws — work with the administration to refine a plan that really might provide access to quality care for all Americans while also controlling costs.