John Hood: "Obamacare is going to collapse"
What Comes After Obamacare
By John Hood
Oct. 4th, 2013
RALEIGH — Obamacare is going to collapse.
While technical glitches on the health-insurance exchanges are getting a lot of attention, that’s not the real problem that Obamacare faces. It is fundamentally, conceptually flawed. Even if it “works,” in the sense that people navigate their way to signing up, it won’t work as originally intended: to expand access to health care services without sacrificing quality or affordability.
When a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate, the decision made a critical but widely underappreciated distinction. The justices actually agreed with the plaintiffs that the federal government lacks a general police power to compel Americans to buy health insurance. States have such legal authority (although most of us believe they should not use it) but Washington can exercise only powers specifically delegated to them by the constitution.
The reason the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, anyway, is that Chief Justice John Roberts redefined it as a tax instead of a regulation. No one disputes that Congress has the power to levy taxes. But, Roberts argued, the mandate only constitutes a tax if it is not large enough actually to compel Americans to buy federally regulated health plans they don’t want.
The reason the Obamacare exchanges will prove unworkable over time is Read more…