Make the change

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The United States Senate’s inability to make a small and simple correction to the nation’s health care law was just more proof, as if any were needed, of how partisan politics gets in the way of good government.

As a means of funding the costly health care law, Congress had added a requirement that businesses file a form with the Internal Revenue Service for every vendor, supplier or contractor with which the business spends more than $600 per year. The goal was to track down scraps of tax obligation that might not otherwise find their way to the federal coffers. The reality is that the law will cause a gigantic and costly paperwork headache for businesses and those who supply businesses — a price out of proportion with the expected benefit. Just about everybody agrees the provision should be repealed. Yet senators were unable to agree on how to do it — or, rather, they couldn’t find a way to do it that would put their party in a good light while making the other look bad.

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When Americans wonder why their leaders can’t solve big issues such as improving the economy, protecting the environment or developing an energy policy, they need look no farther than Monday’s failure to make a simple change — senators inevitably put politics before the interests of the people.

Senate leaders have said they will try again to make the health care change before the new year. Let’s hope that they are able, for once, to get something meaningful done.