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Letters: Debating Affordable Care Act

Like most people, I do not know all the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act and never will, even though I am a physician ["Next feat: Control costs," Editorial, July 1]. I know that as a small-business owner, it is not supposed to be good for me. However, it was refreshing to see Justice John Roberts vote for it despite his supposed views.

The founding fathers set up the Constitution and the government with three branches for a reason. The legislature will make laws, and the judicial branch will decide on the legality of the laws and their application.

Over the last few years, the Supreme Court has often voted 5-4 along party or ideological lines, i.e., conservative versus liberal. These votes seemed very political, which was not the intention of the founding fathers. This has caused an erosion in the faith in the Supreme Court.

It would be disingenuous to think that a president will select someone for the court with different views than his or hers. However, a justice voting based on what he or she feels is correct legally, whether he or she agrees with the law or not, is what the founding fathers had in mind.

Neil Bellovin, Port Jefferson

For years, the left has railed about the far right ideological bias of the Supreme Court. So, where on the spectrum does it stand now that conservative Justice John Roberts has joined the left side of the bench?

Roberts clearly was moved by conscience and his own reasoning, not ideology. Can anyone seriously imagine a case where Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would throw their left-wing ideology under the bus for the sake of compelling legal arguments and conscience? Don't hold your breath!

Reading the court's decision, it is clear that Roberts disliked the law, yet he upheld it. It was actually a whopping tax on the middle class. How poetic that President Barack Obama has been hoisted on his own disingenuous petard. Maybe justice will be served, after all, in November.

John F. Picciano, Westbury

Reading the letters to the editor regarding the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, there were good points made from both political sides. But I was shocked to see the writer of a generally well-written and balanced letter state that the United States has "the best health care system in the world." Nothing could be further from the truth.

What we do have is the world's most expensive health care system. Whether costs are measured on a percentage of GDP or on a per capita basis, we spend double the average of other industrialized countries. This hurts our competitiveness in world markets and costs us jobs.

What do we get for it? A 2010 study by The Commonwealth Fund ranked the American health care system fourth out of seven industrialized countries in effectiveness, and last overall.

There are no simple fixes for our bloated, marginally effective health care system, and the Affordable Care Act is only a good first step. The metropolitan area is affluent and many of us have excellent insurance. The area is served by a large number of world-class hospitals, which attract patients from all over the world. But it is atypical of America as a whole. We have a national health care problem that adversely affects us all, and it needs to be fixed.

Alexander J. Kelly, Smithtown

Having been a political junkie for 30-plus years, I am amazed how partisan E.J. Dionne became in his column, "Justice Scalia should just resign" [Opinion, June 28].

I have watched interviews with Justice Antonin Scalia, and heard his insight into how he and his associates on the court should proceed. His insights always go back to interpreting the Constitution to the letter according to what the original founders were thinking. The key word is interpreting. Most Americans I believe can handle that.

Dionne, on the other hand, is biting the hand that feeds him. The Supreme Court upholds the First Amendment freedom of speech, which gives Dionne his license to project all the vocal vomit of his political ideology.

Nick Giroffi, Hicksville