October 23, 2014

Supreme Court takes up health care reform

The U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing a challenge to health care reform today. Marquette University law professor Allison Barnes said one line of argument against the individual mandate is whether or not Congress can compel every American to buy health insurance? “This is the broccoli argument, that asks if you can make us buy health insurance, than can you make us buy broccoli?” Barnes said some mandates, such as seat belts and air bags, arguably already come close to the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act. She said that if the justices were to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional, that could present major problems for the affordable care act. “People won’t have to buy insurance. So everybody won’t be in the pool, healthier people will be able to opt out. That poses serious problems for guaranteed issue without regard to health status.” She said most health and policy observers expect the individual mandate to stand, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s liberal members in upholding it. The court has scheduled three days of arguments.