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Political Impact Of Health Care Ruling

June 29, 2012, 9:55 PM by Perry Groten

Political Impact Of Health Care Ruling

This week's Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the provision of the health care law is inflaming political passions on both sides of the issue.
The U.S. Supreme Court has placed health care front and center in the court of public opinion.

"I probably won't vote for Obama again coming up this election year just because I kind of have more of a belief in privatizing health care," voter Cooper Jensen said.

"I just feel something needs to be done, and at least the President had the initiative to say this is a start," voter Mark Whaley said.

The economy will still be the main issue driving people to the polls this fall.  But retired South Dakota State University political science professor Bob Burns says health care won't be far behind.

"It will be a question of whether the American people agree with the GOP condemnation of the legislation or the Democratic Party upholding the positive dimensions of the legislation," Burns said.

Opponents are framing the political debate as health care being a huge overreach by the federal government.  But Burns says supporters of health care reform can counter that it promotes personal responsibility.

"And point out that indeed it is going to provide for a substantial expansion of health care coverage and it addresses cost containment," Burns said.

With both sides standing firm on the issue, the narrow 5-4 Supreme Court ruling won't heal the deep political divide over health care.

Burns says the health care ruling could also be an issue in South Dakota legislative races concerning a candidate's position on whether to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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