Health Care Reform — Some Post Mortems

 

I know I bombard you guys with links on HCR, but given the magnitude of what’s happened, here are a few links and money quotes.  Also, think of comments as a place to discuss the bill’s passage.

Constitutionality –

  • There’s a lot of nonsense out there now that the HCR violates the commerce clause of the constitution.  This one was put to bed a long, long time ago.  Congress has the authority to regulate activities related to interstate commerce.  Health insurance obviously falls into that category–it’s as related to interstate commerce as anything else in a modern economy.  If it does not, then nothing regulated by Congress from 1932 onward does, either.  They will be laughed out of court.
  • More on constitutional arguments here and (longer) here.
  • UPDATE:  Better explanation here.

GOP Waterloo?

  • Yes., from a frustrated conservative.
  • No, not really, but still a strategic disaster. 

Fallows: 

“For now, the significance of the vote is moving the United States FROM a system in which people can assume they will have health coverage IF they are old enough (Medicare), poor enough (Medicaid), fortunate enough (working for an employer that offers coverage, or able themselves to bear expenses), or in some other way specially positioned (veterans; elected officials)… TOWARD a system in which people can assume they will have health-care coverage. Period.

That is how the entire rest of the developed world operates, as noted yesterday. It is the way the United States operates in most realms other than health coverage. Of course all older people are eligible for Medicare. Of course all drivers must have auto insurance. Of course all children must have a public school they can attend. Etc. Such “of course” rules offer protection for individuals but even more important, they reduce the overall costs to society, compared with one in which extreme risks are uncontained. The simplest proof is, again, Medicare: Does anyone think American life would be better now, on an individual or a collective level, if we were in an environment in which older people might have to beg for treatment as charity cases when they ran out of cash? And in which everyone had to spend the preceding years worried about that fate? “

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