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Krugman: Healthcare Ruling Could Prove Supreme Court is Motivated by Politics, Not Constitution

Krugman: Healthcare Ruling Could Prove Supreme Court is Motivated by Politics, Not Constitution > Political Commentary > Media Criticism > DLU Articles > Democratic Liberal Umbrella

>By Angela Lee | Sourced from AlterNet| Posted at March 30, 2012, 8:11 am| [Watch the videos below. Gbismarc!]


Paul Krugman writes in his latest New York Times article that the public may soon lose faith in the Supreme Court.  Striking down the healthcare mandate would clearly be a political — not constitutional — decision.  What’s more, Krugman writes, the Supreme Court would be doubly wrong to strike down the mandate, because whether or not the Justices believe it, the mandate serves the people.

Krugman says:

Let’s start with the already famous exchange in which Justice Antonin Scalia compared the

Paul Krugman

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times Paul Krugman

purchase of health insurance to the purchase of broccoli, with the implication that if the government can compel you to do the former, it can also compel you to do the latter. That comparison horrified health care experts all across America because health insurance is nothing like broccoli.

Why? When people choose not to buy broccoli, they don’t make broccoli unavailable to those who want it. But when people don’t buy health insurance until they get sick — which is what happens in the absence of a mandate — the resulting worsening of the risk pool makes insurance more expensive, and often unaffordable, for those who remain. As a result, unregulated health insurance basically doesn’t work, and never has.

There are at least two ways to address this reality — which is, by the way, very much an issue involving interstate commerce, and hence a valid federal concern. One is to tax everyone — healthy and sick alike — and use the money raised to provide health coverage. That’s what Medicare and Medicaid do. The other is to require that everyone buy insurance, while aiding those for whom this is a financial hardship.

Krugman goes on to explain why it is nonsensical to rule the mandate “unconstitutional”:

Are these fundamentally different approaches? Is requiring that people pay a tax that finances health coverage O.K., while requiring that they purchase insurance is unconstitutional? It’s hard to see why — and it’s not just those of us without legal training who find the distinction strange. Here’s what Charles Fried — who was Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general — said in a recent interview with The Washington Post: “I’ve never understood why regulating by making people go buy something is somehow more intrusive than regulating by making them pay taxes and then giving it to them.”

Indeed, conservatives used to like the idea of required purchases as an alternative to taxes, which is why the idea for the mandate originally came not from liberals but from the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation. (By the way, another pet conservative project — private accounts to replace Social Security — relies on, yes, mandatory contributions from individuals.)

So has there been a real change in legal thinking here? Mr. Fried thinks that it’s just politics — and other discussions in the hearings strongly support that perception.

But it’s hard not to feel a sense of foreboding — and to worry that the nation’s already badly damaged faith in the Supreme Court’s ability to stand above politics is about to take another severe hit.

Read the full article here.

By Angela Lee | Sourced from AlterNet

Posted at March 30, 2012, 8:11 am

Watch videos:

[warning]Republicans are desperate to kill health care reform – help stop them.[/warning]

Uploaded by on Mar 23, 2012

The best way to stop them? Donate to the Two Term Fund: https://my.barackobama.com/obamacarevid

Most candidates promise to do something great, even historic, on their first day in office.

But this year’s Republican presidential candidates are oddly and singularly focused: They’d all repeal Obamacare on Day One, and take our health care system right back to where it was.

These candidates apparently don’t care who would lose services, pay more, or instantly find themselves uninsured, because they’ve all placed their bets on this promise getting them into the White House.

[important]The Story of the Affordable Care Act: From an Unmet Promise to the Law of the Land[/important]

Uploaded by on Mar 22, 2012

Learn how the Affordable Care Act benefits you: https://my.barackobama.com/acaanniversaryvid

March 23rd, 2012 is the Affordable Care Act’s two-year anniversary.

This video shows the road to health reform and how the president delivered affordable health care for all Americans.

The new law is making health care work better for all of us, even if you already have insurance. It puts the health of your family first—ensuring access to free preventive care and protecting consumers from insurance company abuses.

It also provides:

Benefits for all Americans:
-32 million: Number of Americans who will access affordable health coverage thanks to President Obama’s health care law.

Benefits for young people:
-2.5 million: Number of young people who have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act

Benefits for seniors:
-The Affordable Care Act is making Medicare stronger, and helps you save on the services you already rely on.

Learn how the Affordable Care Act benefits you: https://my.barackobama.com/acaanniversaryvid

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