Opinion fails to change minds

News

Opinion fails to change minds

Jessica Tambre, a registered nurse, talks with a patient in the emergency room at Mercy Regional Medical Center. After the Supreme Court ruling, Kirk Dignum, CEO of Mercy, said, “It’s business as usual for us and more than 100 other hospitals in Colorado. We’ll go on following federal and state guidelines to serve patients the same as before the ruling.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health-care reform didn’t seem to change any opinions in La Plata County. The glee of supporters Thursday contrasted with the gloom of opponents.

Monica McCafferty, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, said the ruling means that 17 million women will become newly insured.

“We were cheering this morning,” McCafferty said. “This is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation.”

McCafferty said women now will have access to birth control and cancer screening without co-pays and direct access to OB/GYN services without a referral.

Dan Anguis, director of Lifeguard, a right-to-life group, seethed.

“The decision is a complete violation of our constitutional rights,” Anguis said. “This is a tax on everyone.”

Wendy Cox is a member of the 4-Corners Liberty Restoration Group, the goal of which is to educate people about and get them involved in government.

“I’m fully disgusted but not surprised,” said Cox of the court ruling. She made it clear the opinion is hers, not the group’s.

“Our Constitution was designed for self-governance,” Cox said. “Since the populace has become lazy and ignorant of our founding and history, it’s no wonder our Constitution is just a myth these days.”

Cox said the public-school system has become an indoctrination camp for the socialist left.

State Attorney General John Suthers who sued the government over health-care reform said in statement Thursday the court ruling primes the pump for more mandates.

“I worry that Congress will pass other laws requiring people to buy one product or another to further a federal government policy,” Suthers said in a statement.

Kirk Dignum, CEO of Mercy Regional Medical Center, doesn’t see anything changing.

“It’s business as usual for us and more than 100 other hospitals in Colorado,” Dignum said. “We’ll go on following federal and state guidelines to serve patients the same as before the ruling.”

Karen Zink, a certified nurse practitioner at Southwest Women’s Health Associates, is pleased with the decision.

“We have to get people basic health care, but not in the emergency room,” Zink said. “People with chronic conditions need the right provider with the right knowledge at the right time.”

Unless management of chronic health care improves, the cost could damage the economy, Zink said.

Health care has risen to be 18 to 20 percent of gross national product, she said.

“Health care could impact our ability to have a healthy economy,” Zink said. “Health care is the leading cause of bankruptcy.”

A better-managed health-care system and broader insurance coverage could bring costs down, she said.

The personal mandate, the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine, imposes personal responsibility, Zink said.

“The right not to buy insurance but expect care means that someone else needs to pay,” Zink said.

daler@durangoherald.com

Ruling stuns attorney general; Gov. Hickenlooper applauds it

DENVER – Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on national health-care reform came as a shock to Attorney General John Suthers, who went to court to overturn it.
Suthers, a Republican, sued the federal government on behalf of Colorado, joining 25 other states. The National Federation of Independent Business filed a separate lawsuit. The Supreme Court decided both cases at the same time Thursday.
Suthers was surprised by the ruling, in which Chief Justice John Roberts – appointed by former President George W. Bush – upheld the mandate that everyone must buy insurance. Roberts said the mandate acted like a tax, which is within the power of Congress to enact.
“The court has endorsed Congress’s unprecedented decision to mandate that individual Americans buy a particular product or service or pay an economic sanction,” Suthers said in a written statement.
Suthers has argued that the law is the same as forcing someone to buy a fuel-efficent car.
“Now that the court has endorsed this unprecedented exercise of federal power, I worry that Congress will pass other laws requiring people to buy one product or another to further a federal government policy,” he said.
On the other hand, Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, welcomed the ruling and said it will help the nearly 1 million Coloradans who don’t have health insurance.
He pointed out that the Legislature created a health-care exchange two years ago to give people and businesses a way to find affordable coverage. The exchange is scheduled to open in October 2013, and Hickenlooper said the state would have kept it even if the Supreme Court overturned the federal law.
“We had contingencies whether it was shot down or it was upheld. We never slowed down,” Hickenlooper said.
Suthers found one “silver lining” in the decision. The federal government cannot take back all its Medicaid payments to states if states don’t cooperate by expanding their health-care coverage for the poor.
Roberts noted that federal Medicaid money make up 10 percent of some states’ budgets, and he said Congress can’t engage in “economic dragooning” by threatening to withhold the funds.
“This means, at least, that there are limits on the federal government’s power to compel states to make policy,” Suthers said.
jhanel@durangoherald.com

Related Media
Affordable Care Act opinion

Opinion fails to change minds

purchase
Jessica Tambre, a registered nurse, talks with a patient in the emergency room at Mercy Regional Medical Center. After the Supreme Court ruling, Kirk Dignum, CEO of Mercy, said, “It’s business as usual for us and more than 100 other hospitals in Colorado. We’ll go on following federal and state guidelines to serve patients the same as before the ruling.”
Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Durango ~ Events
click here to add your event
Durango ~ Events