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Debate over health care is more than slogans, placards

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: February 11, 2013

One rallier posted a Valentine's Day love letter to Fallin: “Roses are red; violets are blue. Thousands of Oklahomans will die without health care thanks to you.” As bumper-sticker mentality goes, this ranks up there with “Bush Lied. Thousands Died.”

We could dismiss the rally as a passing fancy the way Occupy Wall Street was, but not every speaker has an Occupy mindset. Indeed, support for Medicaid expansion can be as reasonable and principled as opposition to it. Ridiculing either position isn't appropriate.

State Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, is a physician who disagreed with Fallin's decision. Cox hopes the governor will change her mind. Another physician at the rally put the issue in more philosophical terms, rising above the placard clamor: “We are our brothers' keepers. We are responsible to each other. We can afford to do so, and we should.”

We'd take issue with the “afford” part, but it's a reasonable, principled statement. This debate must stay on the higher plane of deciding what we should do and how we should pay for it rather than demanding enforcement of a constitutional or civil right to health care that simply doesn't exist.

At least not yet.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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