Opinion writers weigh in on last week’s ruling by a Texas judge declaring the Health Law is unconstitutional.
Los Angeles Times: Obamacare May Have Popular Features, But It’s Not Constitutional
The finesse built into Obamacare in 2010 allowed Congress to avoid some difficult issues, but it relied on an unconstitutional step. Now our elected representatives will finally have to answer the two questions they dodged in passing the Affordable Care Act: How much health insurance do we want, and how much are we willing to pay for it in taxes? (Tom Campbell, 12/21)
Boston Globe: Democrats Can Fix The Affordable Care Act
It is time to put a real fix on the table, recognizing that this probably cannot become law until Democrats regain control of the Senate and White House. Simply proposing Medicare-for-all may galvanize the Democratic base, but it might not even pass the House and could well cost Democrats dearly in the 2020 election. But Medicare is popular, and the ACA can be improved by borrowing from it. (Jon Kingsdale, 12/20)
Washington Examiner: Conservatives, Don’t Rely On Judges To Fix Healthcare
Conservatives giddy with a recent federal court ruling deeming the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional ought to hold their horses. Yes, the ACA needs to go. But Republican legislators aren’t getting away with the eight-year lie that they would repeal and replace the crumbling healthcare law so easily. Republicans hoping that a bit of judicial activism will save them from actually having to do their jobs and rewrite the law are in a fever dream. (Tiana Lowe, 12/17)
Houston Chronicle: The Latest ACA Ruling Is Far From The Rule Of Law
Late Friday night, a district court in Texas declared the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional — lock, stock and barrel. That includes not only the individual mandate and the protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but also the entire Medicaid expansion as well as a host of other ACA rules without any connection at all to health insurance. The logic of the ruling is as difficult to follow as it is to defend, and it sets the stage for yet another round of high-stakes constitutional litigation over the future of health care in the United States. (Nicholas Bagley, 12/18)
San Francisco Chronicle: Attempts To Undermine Obamacare Escalate Americans’ Anxiety
For a decade, they decried the intolerable “uncertainty” that Obama-era policies created for businesses. How could entrepreneurs decide how much to invest, and where, and under what terms, they asked, if the rules of the road were in flux? Yet Republicans’ relentless attempts to undermine the ACA — through repeal, arbitrary regulatory changes and delays, funding cuts, elimination of low-income subsidies, a never-ending parade of lawsuits — only escalate this anxiety-inducing uncertainty. (Catherine Rampell, 12/19)
Detroit News: Fix Obamacare In Congress, Not Courts
Conservatives have a plan in their back pocket: the Health Care Choice Proposal. Developed by a coalition of policy experts called the Health Policy Consensus Group, the proposal would allow states to innovate and reverse some of Obamacare’s damage.”We need to be empowering states to have the health care they need,” says Marie Fishpaw, director of domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation. The proposal would not cut the trillion dollars in funding that the federal government spends each year on the Affordable Care Act. It would just dispense the money through grants to the states with two rules: States must use the money to make sure those with pre-existing conditions get coverage and to ensure families can get health care subsidies. (12/20)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.