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REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Let the real work begin on health care reform

Commentary • Mar 29, 2010 at 2:36 AM

After a year-long firefight that shed more heat than light, here's what we know:

Children remain covered by their parents' health insurance, if they so choose, until age 26.

Pre-existing medical conditions cannot be used as an excuse to deny coverage.

You can't lose your health coverage because you get sick.

To all that, we say yes.

The Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress achieved the first substantive health care reform in 100 years of trying. That's a century of effort by Democratic and Republican administrations and Congresses alike.

The reform package contains ideas from Democrats, ideas from Republicans, ideas that are at the heart of ideologies both conservative and liberal.

Naturally, anything so big and complex has parts someone's not going to like, and parts that will need considerable work. The trick was getting something into place at all.

Now, we hope, the accomplished fact of health care reform will turn the talk away from the partisan fearmongering that has characterized the public debate and toward making it work.

One thing we'd like to see go away is the use of the Internal Revenue Service as the enforcement agent. That definitely needs to go away, as does the heavy-handed threat of criminal prosecution for failure to have health insurance.

Further down the road, why not a continued look, governmental and otherwise, into why even basic health care is so expensive?

But the basic fact remains: We have health care reform.

The political battle is over. Let's let the real work begin.

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