Ruling sparks local debate

Published 1:24 am Friday, June 29, 2012

Local politicos were buzzing about the news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding health care.
Beaufort County Commissioner Ed Booth said the decision would ultimately help local residents.
“I think it’s a great day in America because we have some people who don’t have insurance,” Booth said.
If it were up to him, Booth said, he would make at least one change to the health-care plan.
“I just wish Congress would give me the same insurance they’ve got,” Booth said. “The people that are complaining the most are the same people being helped the most.”
Booth said he is grateful the Supreme Court upheld the health-care act but was surprised by the final vote.
“I wasn’t even worried about Clarence Thomas. I knew he wasn’t going to vote for it,” Booth said.
He referred to “Obamacare” as a bad word in the South, but hoped that health care would continue to be reformed.
Buzz Cayton said that two-thirds of the country does not support the new health-care act and “Obamacare” was 26,000 pages that no one had read. Based on what had been reported, Cayton worried that the health-care act would ruin the country.
“I think if Obama stays in office for another four years, we will not be able to salvage America,” Cayton said.
He suggested Congress throw out the health-care act and start all over.
“There are affordable ways to do it (improve health care). But we’ve got to do it in a systematic realistic, business-like way that we can afford,” Cayton said.
Greg Dority, chairman of the Beaufort County Tea Party, said he is surprised and disappointed about the Supreme Court’s decision.
“As conservatives, we don’t believe the government can mandate citizens to buy health insurance,” Dority said.
He was also surprised that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision spoke of the health-care act as if it were a tax when even President Obama said it is not one.
“Roberts’ opinion seemed to indicate that the judgment was not on the policy but only whether Congress has the power to do so,” Dority said.
“Today’s decision sets up a referendum on this issue in the November presidential election. That’s when the people will have their say,” Dority said.
Ann Cherry is involved in grassroots efforts to re-elect President Obama. Cherry said she did not think the decision would have an effect on the election.
“Unfortunately, the electorate has a short memory,” Cherry said.
Cherry was elated that the Supreme Court upheld the decision because it represented a victory for all people, not just one political party.
“I was always of the mind that whatever we got, it was a step in the right direction and would give us a foundation in which to build,” Cherry said.
As changes roll out, Cherry said, the health-care act would gain popularity and support.
She is pleased the health-care act would help Medicare recipients and provide free preventive coverage to women.