He wasn’t surprised by ACA ruling,
In the nation’s wonkiest parlor game this summer—predicting what the U.S. Supreme Court would do with the healthcare reform law— Nashville law professor and health policy scholar James Blumstein appears to have won.
Outliers has tentacles spread far and wide in the legal and political community, and we’re aware of no one other than Blumstein who correctly predicted what the court would do. If we had a trophy, we’d be sending it his way.
Blumstein is a professor at Vanderbilt Law School and director of the Vanderbilt Health Policy Center in Nashville. He is the author of Health Care Law and Policy (now in its second edition), and even has a three-paragraph bio on Wikipedia.
Before the court had even accepted the case for oral arguments, he predicted in April 2011 during a virtual summit organized by the Council of State Governments that the individual mandate would eventually be upheld by the Supreme Court.
Blumstein argued, correctly, that although the administration’s main constitutional argument for the mandate might have been flawed, the requirement would still be upheld.
“I’ve not been persuaded by opinion that federal government should not be allowed to assert it is a tax,” Blumstein said, according to an April 2011 story on the council’s website. “But you have to have enough political gumption to defend it in court as a tax.”
The administration did just that, and won on those grounds. Blumstein also predicted what the court would do on the Medicaid question—perhaps more surprising, given that no court, not even the most critical federal judge in Pensacola, Fla., had struck down any aspect of the reform law’s plan to expand Medicaid to cover the uninsured.
Blumstein told Modern Healthcare in November 2011 that the Medicaid issue was “the most likely to be successful” for the law’s opponents. “I think it’s the most important issue in the case, and it’s the sleeper issue. It gets no attention in the media,” he told us at the time.
Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s getting plenty of attention now.
Many tried, but only Blumstein seems to come out on top in the derby to predict the fate of the ACA.