This rationale looks a bit silly today, with a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation that more than one in five Americans are under the impression that healthcare reform has already been repealed — and another quarter aren’t sure if the law is in effect. In other words, a law that opponents billed as a sinister socialist plot that would fundamentally alter and disrupt Americans’ daily lives has been in effect for months now — and nearly half the country doesn’t know it.
So the mere fact that the U.S. spends a larger share of its GDP on health care is not necessarily cause for concern—at least not in the abstract. Instead, what’s worrying is that the U.S. continues to pursue policies that seem to substantially increase total spending with little evidence that those policies have a significant positive effect on health outcomes.
Patients with pre-existing conditions would be better off without price controls. Insurers would actually want their business, and hence design products that appeal to such customers. Government should respect insurers’ right to price policies as they see fit. Instead of imposing damaging price controls, politicians could support subsidies — or better yet, private charities — that cover the increase in premium.
While the main argument from the Obama administration has been tied to the Commerce Clause, the second argument (and far more popular argument among most academics) is that the new healthcare law’s individual mandate is constitutional since it is an exercise of Congress’s power to tax. As mentioned before, the Obama administration has gone back and forth on this issue constantly; telling the public it is not a tax while Department of Justice officials vehemently insist that it is. Ignoring the administration’s incessant assertions that the “penalty” for not purchasing health insurance is a tax and is therefore constitutional, Judge Kessler is the fifth judge to issue a ruling on this issue and also the fifth judge to rule that is in fact not a tax.
NationalJournal.com – Aide: Romney ‘Proud’ of Massachusetts Health Care Overhaul – Thursday, February 24, 2011February 25, 2011
Offering a sneak peak of the 2012 Republican primary, a spokesman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday defended the sweeping health insurance overhaul that Romney helped enact in Massachusetts in response to criticism from former and possibly future presidential rival Mike Huckabee.
“Mitt Romney is proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered,’’ said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom. “What’s important now is to return to the states the power to determine their own health care solutions by repealing Obamacare. A one-size-fits-all plan for the entire nation just doesn’t work.”
In an industry that already suffers low profit margins, mandates are driving insurers from the health insurance sector altogether.
The nation’s organ-transplant network is considering giving younger, healthier people preference over older, sicker patients for the best kidneys.
Instead of giving priority primarily to patients who have been on the waiting list longest, the new rules would match recipients and organs to a greater extent based on factors such as age and health to try to maximize the number of years provided by each kidney – the most sought-after organ for transplants.