On Thursday morning, we will know how the Supreme Court rules on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am leaving the country to attend a wedding before I know how the Supreme Court rules. While the ruling will be a landmark decision, in some respect, I suggest the Supreme Court ruling is not as important as the media and the general public seems to think.
Whether you agree or not with its decision, the Supreme Court should not be about making laws -- that is up to Congress. The Republican leadership in Washington, D.C. has already said they are going to offer a bill in Congress to repeal the ACA if the Supreme Court finds any of it constitutional. So in reality, the final resolution to the health care crisis the Affordable Care Act tries to address is still up to Congress…as it should be. Even if the Supreme Court finds the current law constitutional, the law surely needs amending to make it better.
When this topic is revisited in Congress, I sincerely hope our lawmakers will address this most important domestic policy issue in a non-partisan manner. Polls show most Americans like the majority of the provisions contained in the ACA, even though many don’t support the legislation as a whole. No matter what the Supreme Court decides, we have much agreement in America about current reform provisions contained in our current health care law.
The elections will be over in November and the time will come to determine the fate of the future of our health care system. Republicans, Independents and Democrats all expect their elected officials to act like statesmen and women. The hallmark of leadership is compromise and finding solutions ---not holding out for one point of view no matter the consequence. That’s not leadership. Our elected leaders in Washington, Topeka and Jefferson City need to focus on improving the health outcomes of all people living in America in a bi-partisan manner.
Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.