Healthcare Reform Belongs with the States
From the Desk of J. Robert McClure III, Ph.D.
President & CEO, The James Madison Institute
It’s official—the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court—as a “tax”.
This flawed ruling is a blow to America’s Founding Principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. So where do we go from here? A battle is lost, but the war is far from over—socialized medicine under any label is not an acceptable option for a freedom-loving people, and a tax can be repealed through the budget process.
A lone bright spot in today’s announcement, JMI’s amicus brief regarding the ACA’s Medicaid mandate appears to have been embraced by the Court. In a 7-2 decision, it agreed that Congress cannot violate the States’ 10th amendment rights by coercing them to expand Medicaid spending.
Yet the cost of health care continues to spiral out of control, and the ACA will add more than $1 trillion to the bottom line–fundamental changes must be made. However, government’s role should be to safeguard public health, not intervene in personal health, and the Court’s decision today makes it even more clear that the solutions are not in Washington. Real health care reform will come at the state level where these proven laboratories of democracy are already producing positive results, not only in the area of health care but also in welfare and public pension reform.
Freedom is about choices and consequences, and this ruling diminishes Americans’ freedom to make choices about their health care. Going forward, we must turn our efforts toward state-led healthcare reform that focuses on providing affordable, quality health care while maintaining individual choice and encouraging personal responsibility for taking better care of our health.