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Annulling Healthcare?

Annulling Healthcare?

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Published by Mord Bogie
The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which seeks universal health care largely through private rather than government health insurance, turns on whether not buying health insurance is not commerce even though buying it is and whether the price of health insurance is determined by the same factors as the price of broccoli. Really!
The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which seeks universal health care largely through private rather than government health insurance, turns on whether not buying health insurance is not commerce even though buying it is and whether the price of health insurance is determined by the same factors as the price of broccoli. Really!

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Published by: Mord Bogie on Apr 01, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Title: Annulling Healthcare?Labels: ACA, individual mandate, health care, interstate commerce,Supreme Court, economists, broccoli
It seems unreal that the Supreme Court might kill the Affordable Care Act(ACA) on the grounds that requiring everyone who can afford health careinsurance to have it by 2014 or pay a compensatory penalty isunconstitutional. Although Congress can regulate health care and insuranceunder the Constitution’s grant of power to Congress “ To regulateCommerce . . . among the several States,” a majority of five justices maydecide that the individual mandate (as the requirement is called) isn’t includedin that power.ACA is complex, but its purpose is clear – and clearly tied up with the individualmandate. In an e-book I recently published,
, which is aboutkey issues that voters in 2012 need to understand, I undertook to explain thegist of each issue in 200-300 words. Here’s what I wrote about ACA: The purpose of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, most of whichdoesn’t take effect until 2014, is to provide American citizens and legallyresident aliens with access to affordable health care through affordablehealth care insurance. People who can’t obtain affordable insurancethrough an employer and don’t qualify for Medicaid will be guaranteedaccess to insurance through new health benefit exchanges, withsubsidies for those with low income.Uninsured people who can’t afford health care when they have to have itare often treated at public cost in hospital emergency rooms. UnderACA they will also be able to obtain insurance at normal rates sinceinsurers will no longer be able to deny coverage or charge more becauseof current illness or preexisting medical conditions. But letting peopleavoid buying insurance until they’re sick increases the insurance riskand its cost for everyone else. To minimize these costs, ACA’s“individual mandate” requires almost everyone who can affordinsurance to have it by 2014 or pay an annual penalty.Since ACA defers to our current for-profit health insurance system ratherthan replacing it with a single government payer like Medicare, whichinsures seniors, ACA’s version of universal health care is less efficientand more expensive than in other industrialized countries like Canada.But along with Medicare and safety-net programs like Medicaid, ACA willbe as vital to the economic security of the 99% as Social Security.Congress should not eliminate or privatize or cut back on any of theseprograms.Insurance companies control their risks by excluding people with higher risks of illness either by denying them coverage in the first place or by capping theamount of their coverage or canceling their policies when they get sick.ACAwill eliminate these practices, thereby increasing the risk and consequently thecost of insurance. But requiring healthy people to buy insurance will lower the

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