I've talked about the need for reforming America's health care system for nearly two decades. Many people have agreed with me over the years, and many have disagreed. I respect and value differences of opinion. It is precisely those differences, and the debate, that gives me hope that health care reform will help move America forward, rural America in particular.
Reasonable people of differing opinions should be able to disagree about how best to implement health care reform and how far reform should go. And although it may be dissatisfying - for both sides - the checks and balances of democratic decision-making provide an opportunity for wisdom, reason and common-sense to have their part in this debate.
However, politics, and the machinations and maneuvering that go into political campaigns, often do not make for good public policy decisions. The legal challenge filed by thirteen state Attorneys General immediately after the health care bill was signed into law is a pretty good example of putting politics before people.
The Attorneys General that are bringing this legal challenge tend to represent states whose citizens have the most to gain from the health care reform bill. Nearly 25% of non-elderly Nebraskans - more than 368,000 people - will directly benefit with help from the health care reform bill making their health care coverage more affordable.
As the country moves forward with health care reform,we should embrace debate and differences of opinion. But petty partisan politics should not trump the human costs of our policy choices.
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