In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, including its controversial individual mandate. No doubt days and weeks will now be dedicated to discussion and analysis of the decision and what it means to the uninsured, the insured, the states, employers, doctors, insurance companies, and of course, politicians.
Surprisingly though, the Court did not uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause (opponents and yours truly had contended the government cannot require people to buy a product), but instead upheld the mandate’s penalty as a tax. What this means is anyone’s guess, and without doubt, everyone in politics and the media will be subjecting us to their guesses. Me, I’m puzzled. I didn’t see the tax thing coming and I have no idea what the ramifications of that might be.
The political posturing on the Affordable Care Act is about to get a lot worse, but informed citizens will read the decision and decide for themselves what it means. Here is a PDF file of the U.S. Supreme Court decision issued today.
Personally, I still don’t see what good it does to provide or require insurance for everyone when the health care delivery system itself is broken. It does no good to have health insurance if there are not enough doctors, nurses, and facilities to provide health care.