Trying to predict what an appellate court is going do to when the issue boils down to a matter of public policy, even when the Constitution or applicable law seems to provide a clear answer, is a fool’s errand. Thus, I cannot and will not opine how the Supreme Court will rule on the Obamacare law. One thing that is certain is that it will not be the end of the controversy.
Another certainty. If the law is upheld, it will be a win for the health insurance industry, and a loss for consumers. During the legislative fight member of Congress and the President railed against the ‘greedy” insurance companies, all the while making back door deals (when I was typing this I left to “r” off of “door” – an appropriate Freudian slip, perhaps). I’ll never forget listening to an interview with Aetna’s CEO on NPR about how his company was anticipating the prospect of millions more customers. The man was palpably giddy.
The following excerpts from Ann Coulter’s recent column explain why a one-sentence statute could replace the 2000+ page Obamacare law. I acknowledge that Ann is a bomb-thrower at times, but I don’t let ad hominem criticisms obscure the validity of ideas. See more here./
“In most states, you can’t choose a health insurance plan that doesn’t cover gambling and sex addictions, psychological counseling, speech therapy and prenatal care — even if you plan on never having children.
“Health insurance companies don’t need to compete for your business — they’re all offering the same product, anyway. Moreover, because of government regulation concerning how health insurance is taxed, most people aren’t choosing their insurers. Their employers are.
“As a result, insurance companies have become outrageously unresponsive to both patients and doctors. Insurance companies need only concern themselves with satisfying government regulators and corporate purchasers. Meanwhile, doctors have to please only the insurance companies, which don’t particularly care how patients are treated, as long as it’s cheap.
“This is a third-party-payer problem, or as the proverb goes, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” All third-party-payer systems are disasters. The customer is trapped, forced to pay for something he doesn’t want, with no one to complain to and no possibility of taking his business elsewhere.”
“We need a free market in health insurance, which Congress could accomplish with a one-page bill stating, ‘There shall be interstate commerce in health insurance.’ Once we were allowed to purchase health insurance across states lines – prohibited by law today – everyone would be buying insurance from companies based in states such as Utah, which have the fewest mandates about what health insurers must cover.
“Insurance companies would be responsive to us, the people buying their services, and not the government or corporations. Most people would choose to buy insurance only for what insurance is intended for — catastrophes — while paying for regular checkups themselves, the same way we pay for our own cell phones, computers, baby sitters, manicures and everything else that’s been getting better and cheaper, unlike all government-regulated services.”