Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Health Care Ruling Is Mandate to Rejoice

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Health Care Ruling Is Mandate to Rejoice

Article excerpt

I began becoming cautiously optimistic about America again the night the Heat beat the Thunder in game 5 of the NBA Finals. My optimism soared to new heights this week when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arizona's immigration law encroached upon federal authority in matters of border security.

That nuanced ruling, combined with the high court's decision to throw out automatic sentences of life in prison for minors convicted of heinous crimes, was way too much enlightenment from this bunch.

Frankly, such sudden bouts of reasonableness felt like a setup for the one-two smackdown of the individual insurance mandate most pundits and pols expected from the Supreme Court on Thursday.

There were other signs that I was maybe being too Pollyannish.

U.S. Rep. Mark Critz of Johnstown and other weather vane Democrats began making excuses about why they wouldn't be attending their own party's nominating convention this summer.

Reports that the National Rifle Association was also pressuring weak-kneed Democrats into voting for the contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder this week underscores the vacillating nature of our minor party functionaries.

Still, I refused to let their cowardice and opportunism weigh me down. There are times when every American is obliged to be as fiercely competitive as LeBron James, especially during excruciatingly close games.

Maintaining the stubborn hope that something will break the Democrats' way despite their unrivaled talent for imploding at inopportune times isn't easy.

Meanwhile, almost no one predicted that the Affordable Care Act would survive, given the ferocious grilling that U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli suffered when he defended it before the high court in March.

Conventional wisdom insisted that the political capital President Barack Obama expended during his first two years trying to get health care reform passed was a colossal failure. If the high-fives that were surely flying at the Obama White House on Thursday were a sign of "failure," then you can't blame the administration for wanting more of it as the November election looms. …

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