25 Jun 2015 Supreme Court Ruling in King v. Burwell Means Americans Will Have to Wait Longer for a Free-Market Health Care System
ObamaCare Is Unsustainable as Exchanges Will Eventually Devolve into a Death Spiral
Ruling Also a Blow to the Rule of Law
Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell means Americans will have to wait longer for greater liberty in their health care system, said Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
“The Court has had two chances to stand up for freedom and against ObamaCare and has blown them both,” Dr. Hogberg said. “This won’t change the fight for health care freedom. It will just take more time to move toward a free-market based health care system.”
A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would have been a great opportunity to start replacing ObamaCare with free-market based policies. Rather, Americans will have to suffer the problems of ObamaCare for the foreseeable future.
Dr. Hogberg notes that the ObamaCare exchanges are already exhibiting signs of a death spiral, where insurance premiums rise precipitously, causing young and healthy people to drop their insurance. This renders the “risk pool” older and sicker, causing premiums to rise again, and the process repeats.
“We’re seeing loads of insurers ask for big premium hikes, at least 20% and in many cases much higher,” said Dr. Hogberg. He recently examined this in a National Policy Analysis entitled “ObamaCare Premium Hikes for 2016–Ignore Them at Your Own Risk.”
“In the end, the exchanges are not sustainable, and free-market based reform of our health care system will be necessary. Today’s Court ruling only delays that,” said Dr. Hogberg.
In the longer term, Congress must adopt policies that repeal ObamaCare and replace it with policies that promote liberty. NCPPR provides an easy-to-access spreadsheet at http://goo.gl/y1ALI2 that summarizes a dozen plans from conservative and libertarian think-tanks and Congressional Republicans offering free-market alternatives to ObamaCare. The spreadsheet explains how each plan treats vital health care policy issues such as tax credits, pre-existing conditions, Medicaid and Health Savings Accounts.
“There are a lot of great ideas out there, from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute to Rep. Tom Price and the Republican Study Committee,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Unfortunately, most of the media has ignored them, so most Americans are unaware that free-market alternatives to ObamaCare exist.”
While the ruling isn’t a fatal blow to achieving health care freedom, it is a serious blow to the rule of law.
“From here on out, presidents and the bureaucracy can apply the law however they like, even if the law says differently,” said Dr. Hogberg. “As long as they can plausibly claim that Congress intended for the law to say something different, presidents and the bureaucracy will win every time before the Supreme Court.”
David Hogberg is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He is author of the forthcoming book Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.
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