Supreme Court decision: Romney, Heritage Foundation and insurers should be happy

Supreme Court decision: Romney, Heritage Foundation and insurers should be happy

Washington : DC : USA | Jun 28, 2012 at 9:15 AM PDT
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David Walker - America at a Crossroads

The Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate as constitutional. As far as I can gather, it is because the mandate is a tax. Romney should be happy since he supported individual mandates himself. See for example here . In a press conference in 2006 , Mitt Romney said he's "very pleased with" the individual mandate. A You Tube video shows several occasions where Romney praises individual mandates.

Obamacare is modelled on Romney care, which Romney introduced into Massachussetts. Insurance companies should be happy with the decision since the individual mandate is a great boon for these special insterests. This site has this to say about the Affordable Care Act: "The ACA is actually a boondoggle for the insurance industry. More than $400 billion in taxpayer funds will be channeled to private insurers through government subsidies of private premiums." So this liberal-supported subsidy for insurers is a great leap forward while a universal single payer system is off the menu.

Of course many conservatives will lament that Romney is not really a conservative, as is shown by the fact that such liberal luminaries as Ted Kennedy supported his plan. Yet the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation supported the individual mandate as far back as 1989, when Stuart Butler proposed a plan he called “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans.” The mandate is described as follows.

""This mandate is based on two important principles. First, that health care protection is a responsibility of individuals, not businesses. Thus to the extent that anybody should be required to provide coverage to a family, the household mandate assumes that it is the family that carries the first responsibility. Second, it assumes that there is an implicit contract between households and society, based on the notion that health insurance is not like other forms of insurance protection. ....A mandate on individuals recognizes this implicit contract. Society does feel a moral obligation to (e)nsure that its citizens do not suffer from the unavailability of health care. But on the other hand, each household has the obligation, to the extent it is able, to avoid placing demands on society by protecting itself…A mandate on households certainly would force those with adequate means to obtain insurance protection, which would end the problem of middle-class 'free riders' on society’s sense of obligation."

As Romney has always claimed, the individual mandate is conservative in that it stresses individual responsibility..Other, more libertarian conservatives would of course point out that the Romney and Obama plans both involve governments in terms of subsidies for premiums of those who cannot afford insurance. Anyway, the Heritage Foundation should be beaming with joy to find that their individual mandate is constitutional. Even more they should be overjoyed by the fact that their plan is now regarded as a great leap forward by liberals so that they can now attack from further to the right.

Of course Obamacare does have positive features, such as insuring more Americans. Romneycare did the same at the state level in Massachusetts. However there will still be many Americans uninsured. In 2019 under the ACA, 23 million Americans will still be uninsured. According to this site, millions of undocumented Americans will under the law be denied health coverage. The Supreme Court decision is a win-win situation for Romney, insurers, and the Heritage Foundation. The only losers are most of the American people. They will be faced with two alternatives: Obamacare that is good for special interests and what Romney would replace it with, which would be even more favorable to special interests.

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