OTHER VOICES

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Editorials -

“A fed­eral district judge in Vir­ginia ... de­clared a pro­vi­sion of the health­care re­form law un­con­sti­tu­tional. ... The core of his rul­ing is that a re­quire­ment in the law that peo­ple buy health in­surance in 2014 or pay a penalty is un­con­sti­tu­tional be­cause it ex­ceeds con­gres­sional pow­ers to reg­u­late in­ter­state com­merce or to im­pose taxes for the gen­eral wel­fare. ... Judge Henry Hud­son con­cluded that Congress can’t reg­u­late ‘eco­nomic in­ac­tiv­ity,’ the fail­ure to buy health in­surance, as if it were ‘eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity’ that af­fected in­ter­state com­merce. ... Yet it seems clear de­ci­sions not to buy in­surance will ... af­fect costs in the broader health­care mar­kets. ... A de­ci­sion to forgo in­surance sim­ply shifts much of the cost for sub­se­quent ill­ness to hos­pi­tals, doc­tors and in­sured in­di­vid­u­als.”

—New York Times “The courts up through the Supremes will now de­cide if govern­ment can or­der in­di­vid­u­als to buy a pri­vate prod­uct or be pe­nal­ized for not do­ing so. If govern­ment can pun­ish cit­i­zens for in essence do­ing noth­ing, then what is left of the core con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple of limited and enu­mer­ated govern­ment pow­ers? ... The core is­sue is whether the fed­eral govern­ment can or­der in­di­vid­u­als to do any­thing the po­lit­i­cal class de­cides it wants them to do.

—WallS treet Jour­nal

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