The monumental ruling Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, boils down to this: The fundamental provision of the act - a mandate on every American to buy health insurance - amounts to a new tax, perhaps the largest in American history. Because Congress has the power to "lay and collect taxes," the mandate has been deemed constitutional by a majority of the Supreme Court.
Republicans running for office are vowing to repeal Obamacare. As is presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Thursday's ruling may boost their fund-raising as well as enthusiasm among their supporters. If the act is going to be repealed, it will require the will of voters, given the court's decision.
Without repeal, facets of the act will begin to take effect in coming months and years. Young people up to age 26 already can be covered by their parents' insurance. Other provisions include: people with pre-existing conditions cannot be charged more than others or denied coverage; women cannot be charged more; and lifetime caps on coverage will be eliminated. It remains to be seen whether cost containment - a major problem in health care - can happen given these mandates.
From where things stand, we believe the Affordable Care Act is a mistake. The attempt by government to ensure security in life for all Americans has created a bloated, wasteful monster in Washington, D.C., and put the nation $16 trillion in debt. You can bet that Obamacare will add to the problems. It should be repealed.
As a caveat, we would add:?If the act cannot be stricken from the books through political will, then Congress should revisit its provisions. If we are going to have national health care, it would make more sense to simply treat it like a utility (such as power and water) and eliminate health insurers and their profits. The community rating aspects of Obamacare (treating everyone equally) mean insurers cannot perform their natural market function anyway, namely assessing risk and charging accordingly.