Thursday, February 3, 2011

On Healthcare and the Courts

And so we find ourselves in the year after its passage, deadlocked at 2 decisions apiece for either side of the question of whether Obamacare is Constitutional.  The first two decisions favored the Administration, the second two favored the forces arrayed against it.  We're moving toward a  Supreme Court case of epic proportion here, certainly one of the biggest of my lifetime, and surely as big as those FDR faced while he sought to expand the role of government.  I can't wait.

I've read bits of the reasoning from all four cases, and I must say, there are coherent and interesting arguments on both sides.  Ultimately though, I do think the Supremes will find the individual mandate to be contrary to the Commerce Clause. 

I have frequently cited my support for an individual mandate here in the blog--but I want to remind readers that it was ALWAYS conditional--that is, as long as the country was going to impose the coverage of pre-existing conditions on the insurance industry--along with approaching universal coverage--the only way to affordable do so was to deepen the risk pool--a.k.a--the Individual Mandate.

Without the mandate, forced pre-existing condition coverage will go away--and I'm ok with that.  Ultimately, our society DOES want folks with pre-existing conditions to have medical care, and so such matters should be treated as entitlements carved out of general revenue--rather than upending the entire system to get at it. 

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