The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: State lawsuits oppose health care

3 min read

Here’s a fact: Politics gets our dander up.

No matter how civilized the debate could be, controversial declarations almost always lead to a counter-demonstration (little has changed since kindergarten; if you step on my shoe, then I’ll step on yours).

In today’s politics, Virginia’s Governor, Bob McDonnell, has chosen not only to step on Obama’s shoe, but also is saying he can back it up with a better alternative. This is a good thing, for America needs alternatives from which it can pick and choose.

Health care is the most recent manifestation of kindergarten-style politics. The health care debate, possibly the most divisive issue today, has finally wormed its way into Virginia state affairs, and once again sparked debate over its future.

It even spread its influence onto campus, where students have passed out leaflets expressing their concern over McDonnell’s plans that oppose “Obamacare.”

We have all heard the arguments on both sides at some point in the last year or so, and if you haven’t, then you probably shouldn’t be allowed to argue for a point anyway.

Finally, after months of stalling and argument in Congress, the Obama administration passed a health care bill. While many thought that would end the matter, it has turned out to be only the beginning.

Conservative states’ governors, Virginia’s being one of them, filed lawsuits against the federal government and proposed their own alternative laws.

It has become federal versus state, and socialism versus the Tea Party. Kindergartners would be proud.

For many people, emotion fuels their support or protest in this issue, but what is disturbing is the lack of information they have to back up their viewpoints.

A bi-partisan committee did not pass the health care bill in Congress, and the dealings and compromises made to get it through both congressional chambers were bits of tricky legislation.

This left a bitter taste in the mouth for opponents, as well as suspicions for voters who are now wary of such a huge, yet vague bill that could greatly alter their livelihoods. In this kind of atmosphere, reactions exploded from other states, and support for a more privatized version has abounded.

Tempers may be high, and signs of protest, like handing out leaflets or Tea Party rallies, may be everywhere, but the solution to this current issue will not be found immediately.

Most of the benchmarks for federal health care won’t begin until 2014, and lawsuits filed by states like Virginia won’t be resolved anytime soon. For the most part, this will be a waiting game that both sides will have to play. Fortunately, that may be exactly what America needs.

The strength in American government is that if one state dislikes a piece of legislation, it can propose its own. Then, other states can choose one or the other, whichever they prefer.

If it turns out that one bill is more successful than the others, then most states will adopt the preferred bill, or it will be lobbied and passed through Congress.

However, this system takes time.

Right now, voters aren’t receiving any immediate benefits to any proposal. Given time, the medical fruits sown by legislation will be more obvious, and then voters will be able to decide.

While it’s a costly decision to file a lawsuit, McDonnell’s choice in doing so opens the door to alternative ideas being proposed.

More ideas will lead to states picking different choices, and eventually the ones that work the best will be adopted.

It will take time, but an issue as important as this has no easy fix, and patience yields results.

Once people benefit from health care legislation of some type,  then this debate will have reached it conclusion.