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Letter: Affordable Care Act Not Best Road To Travel

LEWISBORO, N.Y. — The Lewisboro Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor. To submit your letter, email bdumas@dailyvoice.com.

To the Editor:

I have been reading and re-reading the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Affordable Care Act.  Although I am not happy as a taxpayer with the ultimate outcome, some very interesting issues were addressed in Justice Robert’s majority opinion and, I think, a very important message was sent.

First, the decision seems to stop the disturbing trend of district courts expanding the commerce clause of the Constitution in order to justify any act of the federal government. On Page 27 of Justice Robert’s decision he wrote, “The individual mandate forces individuals into commerce precisely because they elected to refrain from commercial activity. Such a law cannot be sustained under a clause authorizing Congress to ‘regulate commerce.’ ”

Secondly, while I was surprised at the length the Justice was then willing to go to uphold the law by defining the mandate as a tax, he at least underscored the true nature of the effect it will have, explaining very clearly on page 33, “for taxpayers who do owe the pay­ment, its amount is determined by such familiar factors as taxable income, number of dependents, and joint filing status. ... The requirement to pay is found in the Internal Revenue Code and enforced by the IRS, which – as we previously explained – must assess and collect it in the same manner as taxes.” In other words, it will be assessed and collected just like all others taxes we already pay.

Although the court found the penalty to be a tax and the tax constitutional, it seemed Justice Roberts refused to say that since it is constitutional it is therefore a good law. Instead, on page 59 of the decision, he states, “But the Court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is re­served to the people.”

The message is clear. If we, the people, do not feel it is a good law then it is our obligation to put those people to work for us in our government who will create better law.

No one can argue that the idea of affordable healthcare for everyone is ideal, but the current Affordable Care Act is not the best road to travel. I may just be an optimist, but I hope there are Democrats in Congress who understand that the effects of this law, if it is unchanged, will further hurt the economy, and I hope they will work together with the Republicans for productive change. The same goes for Republicans. Hopefully, all will take a cue from the past two years in Albany, where Gov. Cuomo was able to find a common ground with reform-minded Republicans like Bob Castelli and Greg Ball, which has led to unprecedented positive change.

Andrea Carpella Rendo

Lewisboro Republican Town Committee Chair

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