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September 24, 2013

Let’s move this show to more tangible issues

NORMAN — Divisive national legislation, once implemented, often got some begrudging cooperation from opponents who took bitter stances during debate. That doesn’t seem to be the case as some lawmakers are working overtime to try and derail provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, which go into effect a week from today.

Insurance marketplaces, designed to allow some 48 million uninsured Americans not covered by an employer’s policy to compare and buy health insurance policies online, are scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

Some Republicans, including Oklahoma’s elected officials, are taking obstructionist stances in regards to the act. If too few people sign up on the marketplaces, the centerpiece of the act could fail, something many groups are shooting for.

Advertisements, websites and speeches are being waged by supporters and opponents. The White House this week will begin a six-month campaign to encourage the uninsured to sign up. It follows a Web video from an anti-ACA group showing a creepy Uncle Sam performing a gynecological exam.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, who consistently voted against and remains opposed to the law, told our sister newspaper in Chickasha that the current Congressional machinations are meant to start a conversation in hopes of delaying implementation of the new law.

Earlier this year, Mr. Cole told a Transcript editorial board that no one really wants to shut down the federal government or harm the U.S. credit rating. They’re trying to make a point about the law’s popularity and consequences.

We get it and we’re glad it’s all just a show. But it seems the House and Senate’s energies could be directed at more tangible issues like the impact of sequestration, the Keystone Pipeline, the crisis in Syria, the failure of gun laws and immigration reform.

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