Thursday, June 28, 2012


The individual mandate part of the healthcare law was allowed to stand.  Wow.  I had become convinced by all the pundits that it was a goner.  But I am glad it stands.  The healthcare reform may well be tweaked, abolished or expanded by congress in the coming years but that should be the purview of the congress and not the courts. I don't think going back to status quo ante Obamacare is a good solution.  Whatever direction we move in it should be forward not backward. 

I am no lawyer so I have no great insight about the legal side, but as a practical economics matter I didn't see how the mandate was much different than a tax.  The government taxes and provides lots of stuff whether we want it or not - this seemed quite similar to me.  Apparently the Supreme Court thought along the same lines.  As an economist, however, I did recognize the importance of having a mandate in place as a part of the overall healthcare reform effort.

But as an aside, I am pretty glad that it appears we can have justices both conservative and liberal that are independent thinkers and are not subject to political pressure.

1 comment:

Dann Cutter said...

I am not sure it wasn't political actually.

Roberts has turned a divisive issue about healthcare (and the courts independence from politics) into a divisive issue about taxation.

The GOP will be able to campaign on that pretty effectively, and thus Roberts may have greatly influenced the next election cycle issue - for a party who then could repeal the issue altogether.

There is some evidence that the finding changed recently - I don't wonder if what folks are calling good judiciating is really not brilliant politics.