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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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This weekend's column: A vote of cynical surrender

Above: A good cartoon explainer of the ACA, by the smart and nonpartisan folks at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A vote of cynical surrender - George Pyle, The Salt Lake Tribune

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About a month ago, Jim Matheson sat not much further from me than you are from your newspaper — or your iPad — and explained why he had not voted for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and why he had not, despite many subsequent opportunities, voted to repeal it.

That makes more sense than it might appear. And for the very reasons the state’s only congressional Democrat said it did.

Voting against the ACA in 2010 was logical, to him and to other fair-minded people, because it fiddled around with a lot of problems but did very little to get a handle on the global problem with health care in America: It costs too freaking much.

But, when the Republicans took control of the House in 2011 and began a series of 32 petulant and futile votes to repeal the ACA, Matheson didn’t play along.

The bill he didn’t support still had a lot of good things in it, he said, things he didn’t think should be summarily taken away from the American people.

Those things include telling the pirates who provide health insurance in this country that they have to sell insurance to everybody, can’t take it away when they get sick, have to cover many preventive procedures with no co-pay and must allow families to keep their children on their insurance plan until age 26.

Then, Wednesday, on the 33rd vote, Matheson voted to take all those things away from the American people. [Read the rest ...]

- Statement on voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act - Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah

- Bishop joins with 244 House memgbers to repeal Obamacare - Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah

- Stretching the truth (again!) on health care - PolitiFact

- Never mind the uninsured - Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard Editorial

How thoroughly do Republicans despise Obamacare and the president for whom it is named?

The short answer: Enough to deprive more than 40 million uninsured Americans of the coverage they would receive under the federal health reform law. ...

- Affordable Care Act far from settled despite Supreme Court ruling - Deseret News Editorial

- The Affordable Care Act has made the U.S. health-care system stronger - Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, for The Washington Post

... Those calling for repeal have yet to propose credible ideas for lowering health-care costs. In fact, the same House Republicans who are voting Wednesday to repeal these Medicare savings voted to keep them in their budget in March.

People are entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts. And the facts in this case are clear: Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, national health spending is rising at a slower rate, health insurance premiums are rising at a slower rate, small-business coverage is holding steady and Medicare is on a stronger financial footing. ...



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