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August 2012

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Like most Americans, I had my eyes on the television and blogs June 28 in eager anticipation of the Supreme Court's announcement on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. When the 5-4 ruling in support of the law came down, I cheered the decision — along with the millions of Americans who are already benefitting from the historic legislation.

For folks who believe that you shouldn't be drowned in debt or dropped by your insurance provider if you become seriously ill, this is a momentous victory. And it's a first step toward bringing comprehensive and reasonably-priced health care to all citizens.

There are certainly aspects of the law that we might disagree with. And many would say that it is not a perfect plan. But it is absolutely undeniable that children with pre-existing conditions, young adults, seniors and those who have spent countless years under the abusive thumb of an unruly insurance system are finally getting some real and necessary relief.

Although President Obama's signature domestic achievement has been dissected and argued about for more than two years already, the high court's ruling is far from the last word on the law. Ever the obstructionists, conservative lawmakers in numerous states are still banging the drum of "repeal and replace." Just last month, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted for the 33rd time — largely symbolically — to overturn Obamacare. And a handful of governors across the nation have vowed to stand in the way of the law's further implementation, the poor and sick be damned. It's confounding but usual for this cast of characters.

As they have no real strategy for what the second half of that drum beat — the "replace" part — sounds like, I suspect that we will see more objections from the hard right now that we've turned more of our attention back to the bigger challenge of job creation. For now, we can at least pause to appreciate that justice has been served to legions of sick children and seniors in need of care. June 28 was a great day for them — and an honorable day for America.


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Salvatore J. Chilia

Salvatore J. Chilia
International Secretary-Treasurer