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Today, the Supreme Court passed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in a favorable 5-4 vote, deeming the bill constitutional. As expected, liberal judges, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan voted for it, but it was conservative Justice John Roberts that tipped the scale towards reform.

It was the inclusion of the mandate requiring all Americans to pay into the health care system, or face a penalty, that inspired Justice Roberts’ vote, as it essentially falls within the government’s right to impose taxes on the people.

Yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney joked before an audience that the White House would have some trouble getting to sleep that night; and if that was the case, President Obama wasn’t the only one.

There were a number of things at stake today, some of which had taken nearly immediate effect when Obama signed the act into law in 2010. Small things like affording health care to millions of young twenty-somethings by way of their parents’ insurance up until age 26. Unimportant things like insurance companies not being able to deny health coverage to those with preexisting conditions, young children especially.

Unfortunately, such things still hang in the balance, as Republicans are on a quest to defeat the bill and Obama come November, as if they needed another reason.

Conservative author and commentator Laura Ingraham dismissed the President’s remarks from today, as well as those of any Democrat explaining the bill to the American people as one giant “sob story.”

When a real American story is referenced to explain the real time implications of the bill- when a cancer survivor goes on television to talk about how this bill has provided her with care that was unavailable and unaffordable to her 3 years ago, to Ingraham, this is merely a “sob story,” a foolish attempt to “tug on your heartstrings.”

But if the truth is a sob story, then that’s all the more reason to change it.

No doubt, the Republicans have legitimate concerns when it comes to funding and sustainability.

As of now, the health care act will be funded by everyone paying into it, eliminating the costs of uninsured Americans accessing emergency rooms and passing those costs to taxpayers.

Republicans argue that this is going to result in an increase in healthcare costs while Democrats argue that it won’t since insured Americans have always paid for uninsured medical treatments.

Even President Obama admits that parts of this bill will need to be altered in the future and has no qualms with that. Just as education undergoes change, just as civil rights undergoes change, this country has a history of “learning as we go,” making changes when we need to.

Certainly, Republicans would get more attention from those who support the bill if they presented a bill of their own.

Wouldn’t it be nice to read less headlines Romney’s pledge to repeal healthcare and more headlines on what he’d do to replace it?

It’s all well and good to disagree with the president, but to offer no alternative leaves Romney’s counterargument completely empty.

In fact, there are many who support Obamacare who are equally interested in hearing what Romney’s approach will be, many who welcome something better than Obamacare, many who hope Mitt has something in mind like Romneycare in Massachusetts…

Many who will keep their fingers crossed.


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pictured on the left, Mayor Tom Barrett on the right (Photo credited to the Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin)

The recall election in Wisconsin not only brought with it a victory for Governor Scott Walker but also the fierce realization that democracy as we’ve known it is vanishing.

This disappearing act is accredited to the power of money, and not in the small $10-$50 donations a typical American might contribute to a campaign, or even a $1 million donation from some wealthy donor.

The demise of democracy will be traced back to the imperious Super PACs, of which billionaires accumulate millions of dollars to a particular candidate running for any office. And while a cool few million bucks to a billionaire feels like $10 to the average American, the danger in this is too great to ignore.

As we saw in Wisconsin, Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett was outspent by Governor Walker 8:1, running on a $4.2 million campaign compared to that of Walker’s- valued at $30 million and heavily bolstered by outside, Super PAC fundraising.

They say that money can’t buy you everything, but in the case of tens of millions of dollars, in light of the Wisconsin race, I beg to differ.

Most recently, Mitt Romney acquired a nice sum as well from casino giant Sheldon Adelson in the amount of $10 million. It is the largest quantity single-handedly gifted to the Romney campaign thus far. With donations like this, he is set to outspend President Obama in the present election, and with the bottomless pockets of Adelson and the like, who can say by how much.

We are moving closer to a time where the presidency will carry a hefty price tag, filled with commas to the point of sheer redundancy and far beyond any budget of the 99%.

It will be up to the few billionaires of this country to decide as to which candidate will best serve their interests first and foremost. After all, these are businessmen making an investment, and will of course expect a swift return.

Mitt Romney jeopardizes the way this country will see him come November. For voters will see him, not as he presents himself on stages or in internet ads, but as the representative of the quiet, secretive money that hangs over his head, only burdened further with the high expectations of heavily decreased regulation, disregard for the general public, and who knows what else.

Yes, it looks like we’ve begun to admit to a dying democracy, with those subscribed to the Super PAC institution are only too happy to see it go.

When President Obama took office, Republicans relentlessly offered their vocal concern that this country was headed for socialism. But it seems they were fighting for something new entirely, a little less like democracy and a little more like tyranny.