Today’s Opinions: Reviewing Judge’s Ruling On Health Law’s Individual Mandate
Los Angeles Times: The Individual Mandate: It's Constitutional
The legal case against it almost certainly will make its way to the Supreme Court before the individual mandate is due to take effect in 2014. But considered in its proper context, it doesn't violate the Constitution (12/15).
Kaiser Health News: Is The Individual Mandate Really A Lynchpin In The New Health Law?
If the Supreme Court does rule the individual mandate unconstitutional will it really bring down the whole law? I don't see it ( Robert Laszewski, 12/15).
The Wall Street Journal: Dems Sweat ObamaCare Ruling
The White House expressed confidence yesterday that ObamaCare will survive a federal judge's ruling that invalidates the law's health insurance mandate. But behind the optimistic facade, many liberals are worried that the current political climate could give the Supreme Court cover to strike down a key part of the law (John Fund, 12/14).
The New York Times: Economic Scene: Opposition To Health Law Is Steeped In Tradition
Nearly every time this country has expanded its social safety net or tried to guarantee civil rights, passionate opposition has followed. The opposition stems from the tension between two competing traditions in the American economy. One is the laissez-faire tradition that celebrates individuality and risk-taking. The other is the progressive tradition that says people have a right to a minimum standard of living - time off from work, education and the like (David Leonhardt, 12/14).
Bloomberg: Health-Care Judge Gets Paid Political Dividends
How lovely it would be to believe that political ideology never influences federal judges' rulings. Well, at least we can be sure that they step off any case in which they have a financial interest, can't we? Not necessarily (Ann Woolner, 12/14).
Detroit Free Press: Trial Judge's Ruling Is Hardly Knockout Blow To Health Plan
Let's step back from the hysteria, both pro and con, over the federal court ruling in Virginia striking down an individual health care mandate, shall we? And let's look at the facts. This is one district court judge, ruling in one case that will be reviewed by a federal appeals court and probably the U.S. Supreme Court. It's a quarter-turn development. Nowhere near a final, fatal or even consequential blow (12/15).
CNN: Health Care Challenge About Politics, Not Policy
It's very likely that you will see a lot in the news about Republicans' opposition to the individual mandate and their challenge of the constitutionality of health care reform in the next few weeks. ... Surprisingly, little of that news will focus on the cost, quality or access in the U.S. health care system. What is being fought over now is politics, not policy (Dr. Aaron Carroll, 12/15).
The Baltimore Sun: Obamacare Suffers A Blow
Yesterday's decision by a Virginia federal judge invalidating the portion of President Obama's health care reform law that requires individuals to purchase insurance does little to settle the question of the act's legality. That judge, Henry E. Hudson, wrote forcefully that such a provision exceeded Congress' authority under the Constitution's commerce clause. But one thing is clear: Voiding the individual mandate is a bad idea (12/14).
Denver Post: Politicians' 'Principles' Change, But Need For Health Care Hasn't
I am not weeping - note to John Boehner - over the federal district judge's ruling this week on the health care reform law. In fact, I find the whole thing pretty funny - if you don't count the not-exactly-hilarious notion that tens of millions of people could see their access to health insurance put at risk (Mike Littwin, 12/15).
The Des Moines Register: Individual Health-Care Mandate Is Constitutional
Based on the number of suits [brought against the health care law], the public may assume the law's validity is a close question. It is not. There is little doubt the law will ultimately be upheld, despite Hudson's decision. Critics of the law contend the mandate to purchase health-care insurance is an unconstitutional infringement of individual liberty and an unconstitutional intrusion by the federal government upon the prerogatives of state governments. ... But these arguments fail to take into account an important reality: the constitutional validity of the Medicare program (David Orentlicher, 12/15).
Roll Call: Would Health Reform Work Without A Mandate?
[T]he ruling does raise a potentially huge challenge for the president and Democrats if the Supreme Court ultimately agrees (no doubt on a 5-4 vote) with Judge Hudson. And it raises some fascinating questions for Congressional Republicans as they prepare to take the reins of power in the House. What happens to health care coverage and delivery in the United States if the health care reform bill moves forward, but without an individual mandate? What happens in particular to the planned ban on insurance companies denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions? We actually know the possible answers to these questions. ... Companies have to adjust their risks, and with a different risk pool, they will have to push the costs onto the rest of the insured (Norman Ornstein, 12/15).
San Jose Mercury News: Health Care Reform Law Has Legal Precedents
Everyone in the United States has access to health care. The uncomfortable truth for the 250 million Americans with insurance is that they pay a hidden tax of about $1,000 a year to cover the costs of emergency health care for the 50 million who are uninsured. The question for today is whether Americans' legal obligation to provide health care for the uninsured gives the government the right to insist that those who can afford insurance maintain basic health coverage or pay a penalty (12/14).
The Sacramento Bee: Ruling On Health Reform Law Is Unlikely To Stick
After earlier defeats in federal court, opponents of the new national health care reform have won a round. Since we now have a split among the courts, it is a virtual certainty that the U.S. Supreme Court eventually will decide the issue. In the meantime, states, including California, that support affordable access to health care should continue to press ahead aggressively in implementing the law (12/15).
Kaiser Health News: Is There Any Hope For Medicaid Reform?
Recent coverage of the proposals offered by President Obama's debt commission managed to gloss over a huge issue that is adding to the nation's deficit -- Medicaid. The impact of this federal-state partnership program on the country's long-term fiscal future is just as real and consequential as Medicare and Social Security. Plus, Medicaid also adds to the financial burdens on states' budgets (Nina Owcharenko, 12/15).
USA Today: Seniors, It's Not About You
I just don't understand how people of supposed experience and wisdom (the upsides of going downhill) can vote against the country's interests, and very often their own. Are they stupid, mean-spirited, confused? The best example is the senior response to the Affordable Care Act - President Obama's health care initiative (Robert Lipsyte, 12/14).
Slate: Why Don't More Americans Use Their Free Health Insurance?
The real driver of expanded coverage is a planned extension of free health care to anybody with an income below 133 percent of the poverty line-or 15 million Americans, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. This entitlement is the biggest new federal giveaway of health care since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 (Darshak Sanghavi, 12/14).
The Seattle Times: State Should Enforce Law Requiring Insurers To Cover Emergency-Room Care
Why insurance companies and the current insurance commissioner are choosing not to enforce the current law that protects Washingtonians is troubling. Policyholders should know that if they appropriately visit a hospital emergency department they will be treated and will not face unanticipated out-of-pocket expenses (Deborah Senn, 12/13).