It will take years to figure out how the national health care reform law will affect the United States and its economy.


The national health law is now in force. Even so, questions concerning how it will affect the nation will continue to be debated. It is such a “big  …  deal,” to quote in part Vice President Joe Biden’s opinion of it, that it will take months and years to assess its impact.

There really is not a question that both major political parties support improving access to good health care by most citizens. Who can argue that we would be better off with a lesser health care system? Who wants to see health care denied to people who need it? If we are a great nation, can’t we do something about it?

Admittedly there are different ways to deal with the issue.

As big as the health care issue is, an even bigger question in this year of 2010 is a healthy economy. If the nation’s economic system falters, if there are not enough jobs for citizens to provide for themselves and their families, then not only health care but everything else that holds this nation together is threatened.

To quote that old but so true bromide again: “There is no such thing as a free lunch!” Someone has to pay for it. And that someone ultimately is the sum total of the businesses and the jobs they provide that in turn pays the taxes that fund everything.

We can get along on borrowed money for only so long. That lunch money has to be repaid, either through more and higher taxes or much higher inflation. Neither option is pretty. And the whole subject is so complex that merely mentioning it is about as far as this comment can go.

On a local note, the state of Delaware has been going merrily along with a rising cost of government. One legislator, State Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover South, cites figures that show that the state budget has doubled in the past 12 years.

And just announced is a proposal by Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Fairthorne, which would require a three-fifths majority vote to approve the state’s budget if it exceeds the rate of inflation. As it is now, only simple majorities are needed.
And as an aside, at the recent legislative luncheon sponsored by the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce I had the opportunity to mention briefly to Gov. Jack Markell that I sympathized with him for having such a tough budget situation to handle.

His immediate comment: “That’s what I signed on for.”

You have to admire that attitude.