While the Supreme Court argues over the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” one thing is quite certain: it doesn’t seem to provide much care or coverage to the majority of people it was created to help.
Since roughly 60% of Americans receive their healthcare through their employers, and the poor and elderly are covered by Medicare and Medical, will Obamacare really have much impact, and if so, could it be negative instead of positive? By creating this minimum standard for health insurance policies we may see a rise in taxes, as well as costs, rather than the other way around.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made the argument that, under Obamacare, many young insureds may be required to pay as many as five times their current amount for policies that contain services that they may have no use for. According to Forbes, Alito posed this question to U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrill: “Isn’t it the case that what this mandate really doing is not requiring the people who are subject to it to pay for the services that they are going to consume? It is requiring them to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else.”
In the debate over whether the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, the Supreme Court Justices made this comparison: If Congress can force people to buy health insurance, what are the limits on its power to compel individuals to enter into other transactions?
Can The Government Force Health Care On Its Citizens?
In an article in the Baltimore Sun, Chief Justice John G. Roberts used this false analogy, asking if, by extension, Congress could require people to buy cell phones in order to utilize emergency services such as the police and fire departments, stating the need is unpredictable, just like the need to pay for health care. “So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services?” Justice Roberts asked. “You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?”
Justice Alito scoffed at the administration’s contention that health care is unique because we all will likely use these services at one point in our lives. “We will all be in the market for burial or cremation services at some point,” Mr. Alito said, “so can Congress compel us to buy insurance for that, too?”
The difference here is that except in rare circumstances, those costs are passed on to the deceased’s heirs and relations, and not society as a whole.