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I'm Stunned

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.

I'm stunned and almost speechless. Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court voted by a 5-4 margin to affirm the constitutionality of Health Care Reform. In the most surprising development, Chief Justice Roberts voted with Breyer, Bader-Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan in finding that the individual mandate is constitutional under the Congress' power to tax.

What does this decision mean and what comes next?

This decision means that 6.6 million young people will be able to stay on their parents' health insurance policies, 50,000 people with pre-existing conditions will maintain their health insurance coverage, seniors will continue to receive discounts on their prescription drug expenses, and the insurance industry will be required to send out $1.2 billion in rebate checks later this year. This decision allows 30 million people to maintain hope that they will be covered by 2014.

In practical terms, the Supreme Court's land mark decision affirming Health Care Reform will help the mother with a child who has leukemia. The recent college grad who's unemployed and thinking about making a doctor's appointment. The grandfather who isn't sure if he'll be able to afford the prescription medication he needs. The middle-class family who isn't sure if they'll be able to keep their home if their medical bills broach the lifetime cap "Obamacare" eliminated.

What does this mean and what comes next? We have won an important battle but we haven't won the war. The GOP - in a rather startling flip flop - hoped to repeal Health Care Reform by judicial fiat. Apparently, the GOP didn't have a problem with five unelected judges in Washington with taxpayer financed health insurance policies winning a battle in the courts for them after they lost at the ballot box in 2006 and 2008. The bottom line here is that the GOP - instead of repealing Health Care Reform by relying upon unelected judges - must instead obtain the repeal of Health Care Reform by winning the elections this year. That's the way it should be.

Health Care Reform won't be fully implemented until 2014. I predict that once Health Care Reform is fully implemented, it will be successful and prove to be popular. That's why the GOP is so desperate to repeal it. The GOP is now in a race against time - this year's elections constitute their last chance to repeal Health Care Reform.

In order to preserve Health Care Reform, Nebraska Democrats must redouble our efforts to re-elect President Obama and elect Bob Kerrey, Korey Reiman, John Ewing and Mark Sullivan. If we are to finally provide access to health care and health insurance to all Americans, we must win these elections. The GOP has promised to make the repeal of Health Care Reform its first order of business in 2013 if they win the elections this year. Now let's get to work and preserve this great victory for the American people!

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