Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Huge day on Thursday

It looks like the Supreme Court will announce its ruling on Obamacare on Thursday, the last day of its session.  They might decide to add extra days to the session, if Chief Justice Roberts, or whoever is writing the opinion, needs more time, and they could even push it back to October or further, but it's almost certainly going to happen Thursday.  So it's time to assess my hopes and expectations for the decision.

I think the mandate and guaranteed issue (i.e., no more exclusions for pre-existing conditions) are probably gone, and I'm not devastated by that, assuming the rest of the law survives.  If the Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges, and subsidies to lower the cost of insurance are upheld, that's a lot of good, which will result in millions more people with insurance.  Without a mandate bringing more people into the insurance market, and without guaranteed issue, many people will still be excluded from the market, but it would not be the worst outcome, and certainly an improvement over the situation prior to reform.

But I really do hope the entire thing is upheld.  It would be silly if we were to find ourselves living in a world where the government can take whatever percentage of your income they want to take, spend it on whatever it wants, send you to war, execute American citizens abroad and yet not be able to impose a fine of a few hundred bucks if you put yourself in a position where you might force the system to pay millions of dollars on your behalf.

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