Think Tank Roundup: Reactions to Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling

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Health Care Ruling: A Strange Constitutional Win
The Cato Institute

‘Who would have thought we could win our Commerce Clause challenge while the Affordable Care Act is upheld?

Thursday, the Roberts court vindicated all of our arguments about why the individual insurance mandate exceeded the commerce power: “The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it.” Then the court went further to invalidate the health care law’s withholding of existing Medicaid funding as coercive, thereby finding an enforceable limit on the Spending Power.’

Health Care Ruling Is Less Liberal Than It Looks
The Brookings Institution

‘Two provisions limit the scope of the law’s impact. First, the Medicaid ruling limits the power of the federal government to encourage states to extend medical care. This gives states the authority to resist national efforts to expand health insurance coverage for the uninsured. With the dire fiscal straits of many states, many places will be unlikely to extend coverage and the result will be fewer uninsured will receive coverage than was expected when the legislation passed.

Second, although Chief Justice Roberts supported the constitutionality of the individual mandate, his opinion limited the ability of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce through tactics other than taxes. This part of the decision will restrict the ability of future Congresses to regulate commerce.’

Government Medical “Insurance”
The Ludwig von Mises Institute

‘Physician and hospital prices are high and are always rising rapidly, far beyond general inflation. As a result, the medically uninsured can scarcely pay at all, so that those who are not certifiable claimants for charity or Medicaid are bereft. Hence, the call for national health insurance…

…our very real medical crisis has been the product of massive government intervention, state and federal, throughout the century; in particular, an artificial boosting of demand coupled with an artificial restriction of supply. The result has been accelerating high prices and deterioration of patient care.’

Obamacare Ensures Health Care Works for Every American
The Center for American Progress

‘The Supreme Court’s ruling today confirmed what the Constitution and 200 years of precedent have already made clear: The Affordable Care Act is undoubtedly constitutional.

With this ruling comes a victory for the millions of Americans who are already benefiting from the health reform law, whether it’s the sick child who can no longer be denied insurance or the senior who can finally afford her prescription drugs. And very soon, the Affordable Care Act will go even further to protect tens of millions more from ever being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Here are the top five benefits of the Affordable Care Act that are making, and will continue to make, health care work for every American…’

Obamacare ruling takes power away from people
The Independent Institute

‘The health reform law is a Rube Goldberg contraption that no one can explain. It was the result of a special-interest compromise, with each group claiming a slice of a 10-year, $1 trillion pie. Pharmaceutical giants colluded with the White House to pass Obamacare just one of many examples of how crony capitalism tried to shape our health care system.’

Court Decision Will Allow Health Reform to Bring Major Benefits to the Nation
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

‘Today’s Supreme Court decision allows the nation to reap the very substantial benefits of the Affordable Care Act: health insurance coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, important consumer protections for millions of insured Americans whose coverage has serious gaps, and the promise of progress in slowing the growth of health care costs.’

The controversial, contradictory and complex ruling on Obamacare
The American Enterprise Institute

‘Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito stripped bare the pretense that the mandate was a tax rather than a (unconstitutional) penalty. For example, different groups of people are exempted from the mandate’s coverage command itself than those exempted from paying its penalty…

Just pay no attention to the ACA’s statutory history and language, President Obama’s own words in pushing for the law, or even some earlier legal positions by his attorneys. In most of the lower federal courts that reviewed similar versions of this “tax or penalty” legal ploy, it failed to pass the “straight-face” test.’

Health Care Reform Lives!
The Century Foundation

‘From the outset, supporters of the legislation defended the legality of its mandate to buy health insurance based on its enforcement mechanism: a fine to be collected by the Internal Revenue Service out of income tax refunds. The Constitution gives Congress the power to tax, and people who don’t buy health insurance would owe a new tax under the law. Why did any courts, much less the Supreme Court, need to confirm something so obvious?’