I needed a reason to get blogging again. Well, it’s not that I haven’t been offering my opinion out here in cyberspace, but between Facebook, Twitter and writing for Physicians Practice Pearls column, I’ve been neglecting the official blog terribly. Time to change that and no better material than today’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of ‘Obamacare’.
While I would love to spend the time addressing the fallacy of the term ‘Obamacare’ and all of the nonsense that has been written about ‘socialized medicine’, I will instead keep my focus on the present and the importance of this ruling. First, thank goodness common sense prevailed! Yes, some will take me to task for over-simplifying the event by referring to common sense, but I believe that is precisely what we are looking at here.
Now, the reasoning for upholding the individual mandate has been based not on the Commerce Clause, but on Congress’ taxing authority. From the majority on the mandate: “Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.” Politically that gives Republican a hammer with which to bang on about raising taxes, but really, will that matter much?
The important thing here is not the politics though. It is the ability of the average citizen to actually purchase affordable insurance in the market without having to be tied to an employer group plan. This is a HUGE win for THE PEOPLE. As someone who pays more than $2000 a month for healthcare insurance for a two healthy adults and an infant, I for one am delighted at the ruling. And 30 million other people like me, who now may be able to purchase insurance (or pay a ‘tax’ to be able to participate in coverage in some way).
Throughout the course of this whole process – from the initial proposal through today’s ruling – consideration for our fellow man has been largely missing from the debate. Which is, quite frankly, ridiculous. We are the only first world country that does not provide healthcare for its citizens. Instead, we leave them to fend for themselves, and when sick and incapacitated, at the mercy of the profit-making machine that we call ‘healthcare’. That’s shameful. So today’s ruling is FINALLY a step in the right direction in SUPPORTING THE PEOPLE.
If you are interested in the mechanics of the ruling, go here to the SCOTUS blog
Now that we can finally move forward, it will be interesting to see how quickly. Payers and providers alike have already moved on providing value and better controlling costs, what was needed to be able to have AFFORDABLE insurance. Now we can. And market forces can actually go to work. Alleluia!