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Supreme Court must strike down all of Obamacare


PHIL KERPEN

Source:
Washington Times
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
2/24/2012

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ABSTRACTKERPEN: Supreme Court must strike down all of Obamacare - Washington Times Register for E-mail alerts. Comment on articles. Sign up today, it's easy. Hot Topics: NCAA John Calipari Anthony Davis Barack Obama NBC NBA Today Mitt Romney ◀ ▶ GOP making gains on fundraising front WOLF: What happened to my Barack Obama? MILLER: Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? LAMBRO: Obama’s faulty grasp of our Constitution Nice guy Tom Hanks taking a left turn In attack mode, Obama labels Ryan budget ‘social Darwinism’ Obama softens attack on Supreme Court’s impending health-care decision Obama warns ‘unelected’ justices on health care D.C. Council challengers hope turnout translates into turnover Romney seeks sweep to knock out Santorum KOPEL: Debunking the ‘stand your ground’ myth Thompson’s donor tentacles reach into Maryland News Opinion Campaign 2012 Sports Books Life Blogs Communities Multimedia Politics National World Security Economy D.C. Local Newsmakers Inside the Beltway Inside the Ring Pruden on Politics Editorials Commentary Letters Water Cooler Decker Kuhner Nugent Mastio Football Baseball Basketball NCAA Tennis Golf Hockey Soccer Other Outdoors Video Entertainment Home and Lifestyle Travel Health The List Technology Video Inside Politics Water Cooler Capitals Watch Daly OT D1scourse From the Sports Editors Guns Mystics Watch Nationals Watch Redskins Watch Screen Play Wizards Watch Technology The Robbins Report Two Guys in a Newsroom Capitol Hill Minute White House Minute Waterman's Washington Photo Galleries Inside the Beltway video Home Opinion Commentary Radio Account Edit My Profile Email Alerts Edit Password Logout Log In E-Mail Alerts Subscribe Classifieds E-Edition RSS KERPEN: Supreme Court must strike down all of Obamacare Erasing only individual mandate would still devastate private insurance By Phil Kerpen - The Washington Times Friday, February 24, 2012 Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times Story Topics Health_Medical_Pharma Social Issues Supreme Court Congress Barack Obama Follow Us On Facebook Follow @washtimes Question of the Day Is President Obama wise to warn the Supreme Court about its decision on the health care law? Yes No Undecided Other Login to Vote View results Comment(s) Recommend Twitter Linkedin Read Later Email Print Text Size: + | - Share The main attraction in the upcoming Supreme Court case regarding President Obama’s health care law is the question of whether the mandate to purchase health insurance is a legitimate exercise of the federal government ’s power to regulate interstate commerce. Indeed, from a broad constitutional perspective, the answer to that question will determine whether we have a federal government of limited, defined powers or a de facto plenary power limited only by specifically protected rights. But another question of lesser constitutional significance could be even more important with respect to health care itself: the question of whether the individual mandate can be severed from the rest of the law, leaving everything else intact. If the Supreme Court decides to sever the mandate, the remaining regulations would, in short order, obliterate private health insurance in this country, perhaps paving the way for a completely government-controlled single-payer system. Many observers discount the risk of the court striking down just the mandate, but that’s precisely what the circuit court did in the case pending before the Supreme Court . Even the Obama administration agrees that without the mandate, the two most significant insurance reforms in the bill also should be struck down. Its brief says “the court ’s conclusion that the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions could be severed from the minimum coverage provision was incorrect. Without the minimum coverage provision, the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions would not advance Congress ‘ efforts to make affordable coverage widely available.” That’s putting it mildly. The guaranteed-issue provision requires insurance companies to issue policies to people who are already very sick, and the community-rating provision requires insurance companies to charge everyone the same premiums. Both are politically attractive, but they have devastating consequences for the economics of the health insurance business. Healthy people have no incentive to purchase insurance, knowing they can always do so after they get sick, and without paying higher premiums than healthy people pay. This adverse selection problem means the pool of people covered by any given insurance company will be smaller and sicker, with healthy people having no rational incentive to buy insurance. That means fewer and fewer people paying higher and higher costs. It’s a death spiral for all but the very largest insurers. We’ve already seen it happen. Eight sta.......