I’ve been looking for an article that summarizes Thursday’s ruling since Chief Justice John Roberts read it. Holman Jenkins’ op-ed does a great job with that, especially with this:
Congress cannot compel you to do anything Congress wishes, but it can impose taxes on you until you finally have no rational alternative but to do whatever Congress wishes.
History will judge whether Mr. Roberts saved the reputation of the court or lost his nerve. Many conservatives obviously suspect the latter. Resolved: The government cannot make you eat broccoli, though it may levy a non-broccoli-eating tax on any who refuse.
Roberts’ apologists say that he limited the scope of the Commerce Clause, which is technically true. What his apologists haven’t admitted is that his opinion said that a new authority can be used to expand the federal government beyond the limits of the Ninth and Tenth amendments.
A door closed. A new window opened.
Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion essentially said the federal government’s reach is still unlimited. To expand without a limiting power, they’ll just have to use a different method.
There still isn’t a limiting principle that limits government.
The good news is that every penny of tax increases, including the taxes known as the individual mandate and the 21-tax salute can be repealed with a simple majority vote in the Senate. It isn’t subject to filibuster, either. That’s the best news but it isn’t the only great news:
Now just modify the Affordable Care Act so buying any health policy authorized by the new charter, no matter how minimalist, satisfies the employer and individual mandate.
What would follow is a boom in low-cost, high-deductible plans that leave individuals in charge of managing most of their ordinary health-care costs out of pocket. Because it would be cheap, millions who would opt not to buy coverage will buy coverage. Because it will be cheap, companies will direct their low-wage and entry-level employees to this coverage.
This is brilliant. First, eliminate every new tax created by the ACA. Next, eliminate all the increases of existing taxes. Finally, make all health insurance options viable.
In fact, I’d go a step further. I’d write a tax break so that people who chose to purchase high deductible policy could pay for it in pre-tax dollars. That way, people wouldn’t have an incentive for not purchasing health insurance.
With consumers shouldering a bigger share of health expenses directly, hospital and doctors would discover the advantages of competing on price and quality. This way lies salvation. In the long run, whatever share of GDP society decides to allocate to health care, it will get its money’s worth—the fundamental problem today.
When someone else pays for treatments, people don’t have an incentive to watch expenses. The minute people have skin in the game, they become infinitely better shoppers.
The time for real reform is now. The time to get rid of this crap that got shoved down America’s throats while ignoring We The People is now. The ACA wasn’t health care reform. Government-run single-payer isn’t reform either because it doesn’t control costs and it’s exceptionally inefficient.
Health care shopper-oriented policies are the only true health insurance and health care reform.
Anytime I have the opportunity to make decisions for myself rather than trusting the IPAB, I win.