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The mandate is the key

April 20, 2012
Messenger News

Some provisions of the national health care law are good and should be retained, a few U.S. Supreme Court justices suggested in hearing arguments about the statute's constitutionality. Well, of course.

That is obvious - but it misses the point.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg commented during the hearing that "there are so many things in this act that are unquestionably OK ... why make Congress redo those?"

Most observers aren't suggesting that the court will invalidate the entire law - but if justices do their duty, Ginsberg's question will be academic. Most provisions of the law rely financially on the statute's requirement that all Americans purchase health care insurance approved by the government. Without that, much of the act cannot be enforced.

And there is another point relating to Ginsberg's comment: Since the law was enacted, amid promises it would save most consumers money, it has become clear just the opposite is true. Many consumers will have to spend thousands of dollars a year to comply with the mandate.

Comments such as those by Ginsberg ignore the unconstitutionality of the insurance mandate, as well as additional costs kept secret when the measure was being debated. Clearly, then, if the justices do their jobs and reject that single requirement, the entire law will come crashing down.

 
 

 

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