The Eight Big Mistakes Democrats Made Regarding the Constitutionality of ObamaCare
By: Jon Walker, Firedog Lake
Friday March 30, 2012 7:48 am
In the end, the decision about the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the entire Affordable Care Act will come down to the nine members of the Supreme Court. It is ultimately their call, and they will be fully responsible for what they decide. That said, the Democrats had many chances to take steps to prevent the health care law from ever getting to the point where there is even the possibility the Supreme Court could throw it out. The issue only got to this point because Democrats, on multiple occasions, horribly mishandled their job and totally failed to prepare for what was an entirely foreseeable eventuality.
- Lack of severability clause in the law
- Ignoring Republican promises to challenge the mandate
- Ignoring public hatred of the mandate
- Dropping the Public Option
- Congress refusing to call it a tax
- Obama team refusing call it a straight tax
- Obama administration’s bizarre severability argument
- Failed to articulate a clear limiting principle
Still, overturning the ACA might be the best thing that could happen from a policy standpoint.
Individual Mandates and Unraveling the Great Society
By: Jon Walker, Firedog Lake
Thursday March 29, 2012 9:26 am
There are are two main ways for the government to provide universal public goods. The first and normally best way is to have the government raise money through taxes and then use that money to directly provide the service to everyone. The other option is to create an individual mandate forcing everyone to buy the service from private corporations while having the government subsidize some of the cost. These needless middlemen mostly just increase costs for regular people and the government. This is why corporations love this setup and push hard for it.
If the Supreme Court rules against this individual mandate in a way that basically makes it legally impossible to replace most of our current public insurance systems with mandated private systems, that should be seen as a big silver lining for progressives.
A stronger prescription for what ails health care
By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
Published: March 29
Eventually, however, our health-care system will be restructured. It has to be. The current fee-for-service paradigm, with doctors and hospitals being paid through for-profit insurance companies, is needlessly inefficient and ruinously expensive.
When people talk about out-of-control government spending, they’re really talking about rising medical costs that far outpace any conceivable rate of economic growth. The conservative solution – shift those costs to the consumer – is no solution at all.
Our only choice is to try to hold the costs down. President Obama tried to make a start with a modest approach that works through the current system. If this doesn’t pass constitutional muster, the obvious alternative is to emulate other industrialized nations that deliver equal or better health-care outcomes for half the cost.
I’m talking about a single-payer health-care system. If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, a single-payer system will go from being politically impossible to being, in the long run, fiscally inevitable.