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Opinion fails to change minds

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Jessica Tambre, a registered nurse, talks with a patient in the emergency room at Mercy Regional Medical Center. After the Supreme Court ruling, Kirk Dignum, CEO of Mercy, said, “It’s business as usual for us and more than 100 other hospitals in Colorado. We’ll go on following federal and state guidelines to serve patients the same as before the ruling.”

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health-care reform didn’t seem to change any opinions in La Plata County. The glee of supporters Thursday contrasted with the gloom of opponents.

Monica McCafferty, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, said the ruling means that 17 million women will become newly insured.

“We were cheering this morning,” McCafferty said. “This is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation.”

McCafferty said women now will have access to birth control and cancer screening without co-pays and direct access to OB/GYN services without a referral.

Dan Anguis, director of Lifeguard, a right-to-life group, seethed.

“The decision is a complete violation of our constitutional rights,” Anguis said. “This is a tax on everyone.”

Wendy Cox is a member of the 4-Corners Liberty Restoration Group, the goal of which is to educate people about and get them involved in government.

“I’m fully disgusted but not surprised,” said Cox of the court ruling. She made it clear the opinion is hers, not the group’s.

“Our Constitution was designed for self-governance,” Cox said. “Since the populace has become lazy and ignorant of our founding and history, it’s no wonder our Constitution is just a myth these days.”

Cox said the public-school system has become an indoctrination camp for the socialist left.

State Attorney General John Suthers who sued the government over health-care reform said in statement Thursday the court ruling primes the pump for more mandates.

“I worry that Congress will pass other laws requiring people to buy one product or another to further a federal government policy,” Suthers said in a statement.

Kirk Dignum, CEO of Mercy Regional Medical Center, doesn’t see anything changing.

“It’s business as usual for us and more than 100 other hospitals in Colorado,” Dignum said. “We’ll go on following federal and state guidelines to serve patients the same as before the ruling.”

Karen Zink, a certified nurse practitioner at Southwest Women’s Health Associates, is pleased with the decision.

“We have to get people basic health care, but not in the emergency room,” Zink said. “People with chronic conditions need the right provider with the right knowledge at the right time.”

Unless management of chronic health care improves, the cost could damage the economy, Zink said.

Health care has risen to be 18 to 20 percent of gross national product, she said.

“Health care could impact our ability to have a healthy economy,” Zink said. “Health care is the leading cause of bankruptcy.”

A better-managed health-care system and broader insurance coverage could bring costs down, she said.

The personal mandate, the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine, imposes personal responsibility, Zink said.

“The right not to buy insurance but expect care means that someone else needs to pay,” Zink said.

daler@durangoherald.com

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