After the verdict

by Mark A. Monoscalco And what shall we do after the Supreme Court rules on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (commonly referred to as Obama care)?   I have heard many of our fellow citizens worrying that if the Supreme Court finds PPACA unconstitutional  we will be back to “square one”. An article was published in the Wall Street Journal on 4/3/12 which discusses this subject.  The author of the article is John H. Cochrane a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.  The complete article is available on the Cato Institute website at this link: What to Do on the Day after ObamaCare   The following are some of the highlights of this article: The country can have a vibrant market for individual health insurance. Insurance proper is what pays for unplanned large expenses, not for regular, predictable expenses. Insurance policies should be “guaranteed renewable”: The policy should include a right to purchase insurance in the future, no matter if you get sick. And insurance should follow you from job to job, and if you move across state lines. Why don’t we have such markets? Because the government has regulated them out of existence. Most pathologies in the current system are creatures of previous laws and regulations. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli explained as much in his opening statement to the Supreme Court: “The individual market does not provide affordable health insurance,” he noted, “because the multibillion dollar subsidies that are available” for the “employer market are not available in the individual market.” Start with the tax deduction...

Judicial activism and unintended consequences

by Mark A. Monoscalco President Obama’s recent comments about the US Supreme Court’s review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (commonly referred to as Obama care)  has led to what I assume are unintended consequences.  The highlight of his Rose Garden statement on 4/2/12 was: “I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,” Obama said during a Rose Garden news conference. “Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.” The initial consequence of this comment is to display this Presidential Administration’s disdain for the separation of powers.  We are protected from imperial rule by the fact that our three branches of government hold each other in check.  The US Supreme Court has as it’s most important function the ability to overturn laws passed by Congress and Signed by the President that are unconstitutional.  The fact the our current President finds this an act of “judicial activism” by “an unelected group of people” is an affront to our concept of limited government. The unintended consequence of this statement is to draw attention to a little publicized section of PPACA.   There is currently a case before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals contesting Section 6001 of PPACA.  This case has now received nationwide publicity as Judge Jerry Smith a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has brought President Obama’s statement into the trial.  The details of Judge...

Individual Mandate Myths

by Cody Hensarling If PPACA (Obamacare) can stand under the weight of the repeal effort and legal challenges, whether you like it or not, you will have to buy health insurance. Now, most people are not opposed to buying health insurance and virtually all people agree that having access to health care is a major priority for all adults. Others would point to requirements to buy other forms of insurance (usually auto) and wonder what the fuss is all about. Still others believe that the individual mandate is only a small part of Obamacare, and that the controversy about the individual mandate misses the point of the larger debate. I will endeavor to clear up two popular misconceptions about the individual mandate, in an attempt to ensure that the nature and impact of the individual mandate becomes clear to all. Myth #1: Being required to buy health insurance is not different from being required to buy auto insurance. Truth: Not in justification and not in application. First, the justification for having all vehicle operators buy auto insurance is to protect others. Auto insurance helps pay for damages to not only the policyholder’s vehicle, but also helps pay for damages to the victim/others involved in accidents. Health insurance does not generally help compensate others who are negatively affected by the negative health outcomes of the policyholder. Second, in practice, auto insurance and health insurance barely resemble each other. Auto insurance varies highly in terms of premiums: some customers pay less per month and receive less coverage for damages; other customers pay more per month and have more coverage for damages....