A second opinion

Reforms to the health care law make sense — outright repeal does not.

Daily Editorial Board

Last Wednesday, the Republican-controlled  U.S. House passed a symbolic bill to repeal the federal health care reform law. Congress âÄî newly split after the 2010 elections  âÄî has a responsibility to look for compromise in all areas of government policy, especially the recent health care reform.  
According to a USA Today/Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans want to see the new health care law changed in some way, either because they think it goes too far or because they think it does not go far enough. Most of those surveyed, however, prefer middle-ground solutions to fix the law that involve neither wholesale repeal nor a complete reimagining of the bill.
A sensible solution to the dissatisfaction with the health care law is to eliminate the especially unpopular provisions, keeping what many Americans like about the law and adding other provisions to improve it. The ideological opposition to the law that refuses to acknowledge any of its good provisions and the lockstep support that refuses to acknowledge any flaws are equally unhelpful.
With a more balanced Congress and middling overall support for the law, popular suggestions like reducing paperwork burdens on businesses and allowing coverage across state lines make a great deal of sense.
Now that voters have weighed in, our newly elected representatives need not waste time on symbolism. The people have already expressed through the 2010 election that real and lasting progress in health care reform will lie in bipartisan cooperation and support. Our representatives should be listening.