Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why We are All Screwed When the Supreme Courts Rule (Very Soon) on Obamacare

Robert Reich explains why, regardless of what the Supremes rule, it will mean a more centrally planned medical system for all of us---which will thus mean, and Reich probably doesn't understand this, lower quality healthcare for all of us. Here's Reich:
Any day now the Supreme Court will issue its opinion on the constitutionality of the Accountable Care Act, which even the White House now calls Obamacare.

Most high-court observers think it will strike down the individual mandate in the Act that requires almost everyone to buy health insurance, as violating the Commerce Clause of the Constitution — but will leave the rest of the new healthcare law intact.

But the individual mandate is so essential to spreading the risk and cost of health care over the whole population, including younger and healthier people, that some analysts believe a Court decision that nixes the mandate will effectively spell the end of the Act anyway.

Yet it could have exactly the opposite effect. If the Court strikes down the individual mandate, health insurance company lobbyists and executives will swarm Capitol Hill seeking to have the Act amended to remove the requirement that they insure people with pre-existing medical conditions.They’ll argue that without the mandate they can’t afford to cover pre-existing conditions.

But the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions has proven to be so popular with the public that Congress will be reluctant to scrap it.

This opens the way to a political bargain. Insurers might be let off the hook, for example, only if they support allowing every American, including those with pre-existing conditions, to choose Medicare, or something very much like Medicare. In effect, what was known during the debate over the bill as the “public option.”

So in striking down the least popular part of Obamacare - the individual mandate - the Court will inevitably bring into question one of its most popular parts - coverage of pre-existing conditions. And in so doing, open alternative ways to maintain that coverage - including ideas, like the public option, that were rejected in favor of the mandate.
Bottom Line: Obamacare was set up from day one to be a centrally planned program. As Reich makes clear, a Supreme Court ruling against the current individual mandate is likely to result in an even more centrally planned program. This smells like it was designed by the evil bastard in the White House backroom, Cass Sunstein, the options that will be offered will all be bad and commie healthcare will come to America.


  1. In the end, progressives will get precisely what they wanted all along - a very public failure of the 'free market' when private health insurers discover that the new regulations mean they can't fight their way out of a paper bag, never mind the horrific amounts of red they'll see. Then, will come the rallying cry that capitalism has failed, that we can't leave national health to greedy corporations, and some government-managed health system will be imposed.

  2. Whatever the court decides, and congress thereafter, one thing is certain to remain - the medicare tax on investment income.

  3. Lets scrap the whole thing and start over. It was a disaster from the beginning. With or without Obama, we're going to have a very bad health insurance system with rigid managed care which means you will get the worst health care ever!!!! RATIONED CARE!

  4. If only you could legislate someone to be healthy. Healthcare should be dirt cheap and now it'll get more expensive.

  5. I hate everything about this situation. If they keep it up then I have to start paying this idiotic penalty in addition to more taxes next year. I really can't afford this crap.

  6. The "popular" shall-issue regardless of pre-existing conditions provision is popular because it's another dose of dope for the "duh, gimme goodies" dummies.

  7. While each individual situation is different, it might not be a bad idea to buy gold and silver as a personal insurance policy for healthcare and unforeseen personal calamities. The dollar is not going to continue to hold up well, even if we continue to be forced to use it, which is the likely situation for the future. Gary North does not think a genuine gold standard is going to happen anytime soon. I agree. The public has absolutely no understanding of free-market commodity money that is very difficult to devalue or use politically.

  8. Buy gold and silver (do NOT put it in a safe deposit box, but hide it somewhere so that you CAN get to it), and have a passport so that you can go to one of the premier hospitals for life saving health care, because whether or not Obamacare is upheld, we ARE heading towards socialized health care. Most Americans do NOT realize that there are several world class hospitals outside America. As my Father always said "the only thing money cannot buy is POVERTY".

  9. The problem that these boobs in Washington couldn't foresee (or maybe they expected sinister) is that the whole system was designed to fail! There is one (and only one) solution to the problem with politically-determined health care: Scrap the law that requires hospitals to treat anyone that walks in.

    I know it's unpopular to propose that, but the only free-market solution is that people be responsible for their own health: All treatment should be based upon the premise of receiving payment by the service-provider. As such, all third-party payment systems should be contractual only, meaning that those who pay get treatment. If someone wants treatment but cannot immediately pay, then they get sent a bill. But the insertion of the government into the payment mechanism is what screws the system up.

  10. Strictly unconstitutional and just wrong. If one part of a law is struck, then it is no longer the law Congress passed. Overs!!!

  11. Mr. Beck is right! In the free enterprise system we are responsible for our health care. The solution requires the removal of government, insurance companies and special interests out of health care. It is the responsibility of the individual and his care provider. If one wants, or needs, health insurance, he can buy it, and not involve insurance companies in day to day care.

    The country needs to be reminded that health care is not a right, but an individual responsibility. The Progressives are way to far out in left field on this one.

  12. Should we actually adopt a free enterprise economy, it would behoove us to eschew insurance altogether. This has been the major reason for the massive increases in cost over time. Health insurance began as a means of granting a wage increase during WW2, when FDR froze salaries. There was no worker participation back then. Mandates of all kinds ensued, initially prompted by labor unions, then by state law, and eventually federal. Mandated insurance is not only a tax--it ensures greater consumption off medical services when one "doesn't have to pay."

    I have an extremely good insurance plan, but I rarely see a doctor until a prescription needs renewal and I cannot get it renewed without a visit (another issue derived from quasi-mandatory insurance is guaranteed income for doctors. I pay far more in terms of employee contribution, never mind employer contribution, than I ever use.

    The various European state systems primarily free ride on ours for pharmaceutical research, developmental testing and patenting and FDA approval. Were our system to be nationalized entirely, we could expect costs to soar both here and abroad.