Demolished ACA was Demolition from the Start
Federal judge Reed O’Connor has ruled that the “individual mandate” of Obamacare is unconstitutional, and since that mandate is “essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA,” that nixes the Act entirely. This comes six years after Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote to leave the ACA intact, but there’s a lot more going on here than O’Connor’s ruling and the appeals that will surely follow.
As we noted, health journalist Emily Bazar of the Center for Health Reporting tried her best to broker Covered California, the ACA’s biggest state subsidiary, for California consumers. They found a dysfunctional computer system, difficulties signing up and leaving the various plans, contradictions with the tax laws, pregnant women having their pre-natal checkups cancelled, and a lot more, including cronyism and massive waste. Bazar would up blaming the ACA for “widespread consumer misery,” hardly an endorsement of what was supposed to be a “signature” plan. For the namesake, the plan was doubtless more far reaching.
Days before the 2008 election, Obama claimed to be “fundamentally transforming” the nation, which was already a top-heavy welfare state from the days of the LBJ’s Great Society, and before that FDR’s New Deal. So the president had something else in mind. Under his ACA, you don’t get the health care you want, only the health care the government wants you to have. Contrary to what the president claimed, you couldn’t keep your doctor or your plan, and the rates were going to skyrocket. The ACA was a disaster from the start but its demolition of choice gave the president’s designated successor, Hillary Clinton, grounds to push for a “single-payer” health system, a euphemism for government monopoly health care. That doesn’t work very well either, but once in place you get only the care the government wants you to have. That’s the deal “social justice” crowd wants, in everything.
In a market oriented system, people choose the health care they believe best meets their needs. Will the incoming Congress team with the president to offer a system like that? At this point, one doubts that they will collaborate on anything.