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Let's Get to It

February 1, 2013 by John Prestbo
As Hurricane Sandy roared through my neighborhood, the presidential election and all its many issues receded from front-of-mind to a more right-sized place in my consciousness. Looking forward past next Tuesday it’s apparent that what we need more than anything is less posturing and more cooperation in addressing this nation’s many problems. Economic growth is chief among them, but it isn’t the entire list. Health care has been another extremely divisive topic in this election. Many Republican candidates vow to repeal ObamaCare, which I hope is nothing but election-season rhetoric. If it turns out to be post-election strategy, we’re in for another depressing grind of political gridlock that could crush the legislation needed to accelerate economic growth. There was broad consensus that U.S. health care was in sore need of reform. For lots of reasons, market forces somehow didn’t shape a system that was efficient, cost-controlled and accessible to all. ObamaCare was an attempt to address this issue. It isn’t perfect and it didn’t benefit from the bipartisan give-and-take that always improves sweeping legislation. However, it passed constitutional muster with the Supreme Court and now is in the process of being implemented. It is time for the naysayers (who haven’t put forth any alternative of their own) to get over their uncompromising pique. Instead, they can help fix ObamaCare. In its current state it has weird provisions that could penalize many people. For a sample, read this Op-Ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, which was written by an ObamaCare supporter. In my opinion, we have too many important matters to address and don’t have the luxury of circling back and re-fighting previous battles. Health care needs fixing, and the legislation attempting to do that also needs fixing. Let’s get to it. After all, the prospect of an invigorated economy rests partly on the assumption of our citizens’ good health and well-being.  

Author

John Prestbo
John Prestbo

2012 Economic Growth Fellow

John Prestbo is retired as editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes. Previously he was markets editor at The Wall Street Journal. He has co-authored or edited several books over the past 30 years. The most recent is “The Market’s Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told Through the Dow Jones Industrial Average,” published in 1999 by Dow Jones Indexes. His column, Indexed Investor, appears on the highly regarded “MarketWatch” business and finance website. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University.

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