Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thoughts Before the Healthcare Ruling

Tomorrow morning, the United States Supreme Court will issue its much anticipated ruling on Obamacare. One of three outcomes are likely:
  1. Obamacare is upheld
  2. The mandate (and perhaps a few other items) are struck down
  3. Obamacare is struck down
The second outcome, a partial strike-down, is widely expected. If the court actually followed the Constitution's original meaning, rather than something invented since 1789, Obamacare would not survive at all.

Any strike-down will be a win, but only a very small win in the fight for liberty. Though the ruling is bound to leave healthcare a mess, at least the idea that the federal government does not have unlimited power might gain more traction. On the other hand, it could hasten the advent of a Medicare-for-all option, which would be another disaster, of course.

Unfortunately, the Republicans are not even trying to do what's right, other than complain about Obamacare and government intervention. Talk is cheap. Where is the republican leadership pushing proposals to bring us closer to free markets in healthcare, the only sensible solution? Crickets. Where are the republican voters? That's right, busy re-electing the same old politicians.

Both parties are very invested in the incredibly powerful medical industrial complex, which wants the millions of regulations, the tax subsidy for insurance, state license requirements that restricts the supply of doctors, etc. All of this government interventionism is the problem, driving up costs, making access difficult, slowing innovation, straining the doctor patient relationship, and causing the long waits for medical treatment.

It's important to keep in mind SCOTUS will not be fixing any of that on Thursday. Nevertheless, a good ruling is good news, a tiny step in the right direction healthcare-wise, a slightly larger step Constitution-wise, but only the beginning of our battle. Conversely, a bad ruling is bad news, but not the end of the world; it would only be a continuation of the status quo.

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