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June 28, 2012 | 2500 views | 48 comments

U.S. Supreme Court upholds individual mandate;
puts onus on U.S. Congress to fully repeal.

AUSTIN - Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the individual mandate within the federal Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a tremendous blow against Americans’ health care and individual liberties, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

“The fundamental question before the U.S. Supreme Court in this case was, if the federal government can force us to buy health insurance, what can’t it force us to do?” said Foundation president Brooke Rollins. “Though the individual mandate was upheld under the taxation authority of the Congress, rather than the Commerce Clause, the net effect is the same: the Constitutional limits of federal power are now dangerously eroded.”

“James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, argued passionately that in any constitutional republic, the transition to unrestrained majority rule is often an irrevocable step on the road to tyranny,” Rollins said. “Today’s ruling should be a wake-up call to all Americans: now more than ever, it is time to redouble our efforts to reclaim the proper sovereignty of states and citizens.”

Arlene Wohlgemuth, the Foundation’s executive director and director of its Center for Health Care Policy, said, “The Supreme Court got one big thing right: the individual mandate is a de facto tax on every single American. The problem is that it’s a uniquely destructive tax for American households, American businesses, and the American economy. The extraordinary growth of federal power and the degradation of the American economy go hand in hand.”

“Congress now needs to act quickly to repeal this law and take a new approach to health care reform,” Wohlgemuth said. “But this time, we need to fix health care the right way -- with patient-centered reforms that emphasize the patient-doctor relationship and allow them to make more effective and economical health care choices with less interference from insurance companies or government.”

Wohlgemuth encouraged the U.S. Congress to include the following elements in any new health care reform legislation, following repeal of the PPACA:

• Individual ownership of insurance policies -- the tax deduction that allows employers to own your insurance should instead be given to the individual;
• Promotion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) -- HSAs empower individuals to monitor their health care costs and create incentives for individuals to use only those services that are necessary;
• Interstate purchasing of insurance -- policies in some states are more affordable because they include fewer bells and whistles; consumers should be empowered to decide which benefits they need and what prices they are willing to pay;
• Reduction of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover -- empowering consumers to choose which benefits they need is only effective if insurers are able to fill these needs;
• Reallocation of the majority of Medicaid spending into simple vouchers for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance-- an income-based sliding scale voucher program would eliminate much of the massive bureaucracy that is needed to implement today’s complex and burdensome Medicaid system and produce considerable cost savings;
• Medical liability reform following Texas’s example -- defensive medicine needlessly drives up medical costs and creates an adversarial relationship between doctors and patients.

“Our research has established that a patient-centered approach to health care reform would build on America’s world-leading quality and high patient satisfaction in a way that extends those benefits to even more people and empowers all patients to make their own medical decisions,” Wohlgemuth said.

Brooke Rollins is president and chief executive officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The Honorable Arlene Wohlgemuth is the executive director and director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. She served 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives, specializing in health care issues. The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (June 25, 2012)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 6, 2012 5:21am
 
 
Want to solve the so called health care crisis. Eliminate
all government supported health care for all age and
income groups. Eliminate the requirement that emergency
rooms ... Read More Read More
 
 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
July 5, 2012 6:52pm
 
 
"New Guy" since when is someone having health care any concern of either the State or Federal Govt?...that is not their job. For about 20 year, I could hardly ... Read More Read More
 
 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
July 5, 2012 6:09pm
 
 
How about today's report that Texas ranks as one of the lowest states in providing health care...all these jobs and we stink at education and medical care.
 
 
Puzzled  
Wilson Co.  
July 4, 2012 6:46am
 
 
Sumbeach, what you report on Canadian health care is not true about 15 years ago, I broke my leg in a morning accident in Alberto. The EMS hauled me to the hospital, where ... Read More Read More
 
 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 3, 2012 3:56pm
 
 
4th G.T......There you go again.....using asterisks when
you don't have enough guts to write what you mean..
I suggest that you soak your socks in gasoline to keep'
the ... Read More Read More
 
 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
July 3, 2012 2:24pm
 
 
"Prairie Grouch", of course it is a privilege and a choice to own and drive a car. Whether or not you live in Wilson County has nothing to do with it being a ... Read More Read More
 
 
sumbeach  
wilson county  
July 3, 2012 12:20pm
 
 
Puzzled, seat belt laws are state by state, incentivised by feds witholding highway funds if states don't pass laws. Trickery, yes but ultimately the power is the states. ... Read More Read More
 
 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 3, 2012 12:16pm
 
 
S.C. Choice ? Try surviving without a vehicle in
Wilson county. Since factory towns have gone by the
wayside, don't tell me that having a vehicle is
a choice to exist ... Read More Read More
 
 
Proletariat  
Utopia,Tx.  
July 3, 2012 12:02pm
 
 
... Read More Read More
 
 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
July 3, 2012 9:30am
 
 
Yes, Prairie, but you only pay the automobile tax if you choose to drive a car.
 

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