The New York Times reported today that the United States District Court-Eastern District of Virginia issued a ruling that finds a requirement that all Americans purchase a minimum level of health insurance unconstitutional.
I’ll need to read through this one myself, but at first blush the court appears to be putting government’s role back on the right path. Government regulates commercial activity. The constitution says nothing about regulating commercial inactivity.
Should government look out for the general welfare? Of course it should. One can argue that there are health epidemics like obesity that we should be concerned about. Obesity has a negative impact on individual health and can lead to decreases in our overall productivity.
Do we combat obesity with a mandate that Americans buy more health insurance? No. We combat obesity and other ailments that may impair our general welfare via educating our citizens about the epidemic and isolating and correcting the behaviors that cause it.
From a market perspective, it has been documented that we have a shortage of health professionals. We can begin by funding educational incentives to get more primary care practitioners into the health care system, thus driving down the price of getting actual care. Trying to make the delivery of health insurance less expensive for insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid is a misplaced effort, and to put it bluntly, downright deceitful.