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Obamacare, not court, needs fixing

Pacific University Professor Emeritus Russ Dondero has decided that the Supreme Court justices' questions were troubling during the appeal process of the 'Unaffordable' Health Care Act (Guest Column, News-Times, April 4, 2012).

The question is really whether a government can require a citizen to do something he may choose not to do. With other requirements - auto insurance, for instance - a citizen can choose not to own a car. But here, all citizens 'must' buy insurance. They must also buy mandated coverage, some of which they may not want (such as birth control).

Dondero is obviously comfortable with 'mandating' government control of citizens' lives of unlimited proportion and he is simply using medical care as a canard to prove his point, using unvarnished base emotions to support his argument.

Also, he's taken the position that this is a 'zero-sum' game, with Obamacare - a 2,700 page, 'one size fits all' mandate with no examination of alternatives - being the only solution to this problem. The public certainly does not want it.

Russ completely forgoes any consideration of the idea that it could be solved in the private sector, with motivation to do that coming from the government. And how does the lunacy of the law's 1099 rule, medicine cabinet rule and 4,000 new IRS agents help people with their health care?

Why would anyone support the 'rationing' called for in the bill with the establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board? With its establishment, seniors can be assured they will be denied needed treatment solely on the basis of their age. Other countries which have this form of medical coverage have inferior treatment schedules and worse survival rates compared to the United States.

Dondero uses a typical leftist argument that if you oppose something you are guilty of a 'greater evil.' If you oppose Obamacare, you oppose health care for citizens. If you oppose gay marriage, you hate gays. If you oppose breakfast, lunch and dinner programs in schools, you hate children.

I reject completely his premise that 'GOP judges with their brethren in Congress are pursuing an ideological scheme to deny millions of Americans health care.'

I am betting the Republicans will soon have a truly 'affordable' health care bill of their own. It will be called Romneycare, fashioned after the Massachusetts Health Care law. I don't recall that law having to go before the Supreme Court.

Dondero also advocates (if the law is struck down), to limit Supreme Court justices to 10-year terms and face reappointment by the U.S Senate. That is radical thinking and in the no-fly zone. Let us not go there.

Speaking on behalf of the Supreme Court justices (as if they really need this), their lifetime appointment is to insulate their decisions on the Constitutional merits of any law from people like Russ Dondero, presidents and politicians. Don't take your ball home if you are losing the game. The health of the Constitution demands this separation of power and checks and balances.

Health care problems can be solved using the private sector, the 'engine' which has provided the steam needed to make American the greatest country in the world. We shouldn't be trying to emulate Europe, but instead solve our thorny problem with tried and true American practices, something the professor doesn't believe in, because he expects government to solve the problem.

James R. Shores lives in Forest Grove.



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