BY FORMER GOV. LINDA LINGLE – Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) individual mandate as a valid exercise of Congress’ power to impose taxes, ultimately decides the question of the law’s constitutionality.
I have always believed that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care, and if elected as the next U.S. Senator for Hawaii I will make health care a priority in the next Congress.
This is not the end, but the beginning of what can and should be a healthy, productive and successful revamping of medical care access for the people of Hawaii and the nation. As Chief Justice Roberts noted in his majority opinion, ‘Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders.’
Beginning in January, the next Congress must address what the PPACA ignored, including important health care policy issues like the skyrocketing health care costs for the majority of Americans and small businesses, the quality of health care Americans receive, and the limited access to care for those in rural and remote areas.
At the same time, questionable policy judgments in the PPACA such as the decision to create unelected Independent Review Boards, the punitive tax on medical device manufacturers, and the elimination of Medicare Advantage programs deserve meaningful bipartisan discussion.
We need to seriously consider these issues if we are to truly meet the health care needs of our country, without pushing it further into debt.
Linda Lingle, a Republican, served as Hawaii governor from 2002-2010, and is a candidate for US Senate.