Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Six Simple Minded Supreme Court Solutions

For every complex problem, there is a answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

Henry Mencken (1880-1956), political commentator known as the Sage of Baltimore

On March 4 the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v.Burwell with a decision expected in late June.

Observers has suggested and are lobbying for six solutions to the complex health care law.

One, no change in law whatsoever. This appeals to be the Obama administration position. It has put forth no alternative.

Two, a simple change in the text of the law, namely, delete “established by the state” and make it clear the law applies to both state and federal exchanges.

Three, keep good provisions in law. Repeal and replace. Have states distribute “health checks” via state governments for those who received subsidies. Return control of exchanges and Medicaid to states.

Four, go with Republican alternative plan, which ends mandates and exchanges, retains some aspects of law, and stresses market-based competition.

Five, exercise the “freedom option.” If you like ObamaCare and its subsidies, keep them. If you don’t, you are free to dump ObamaCare and to buy the insurance you need. (Phil Gramm, “A Simple Cure for ObamaCare: Freedom," WSJ, February 23, 2015).

Six, none of the above. Go with Medicare or Medicaid for all.

None of these simple options will take place in their pure form. ObamaCare , with all its virtues and faults, is too complex, Its vested interests are too entrenched, too partisan, and too fixed in their ideologies. But one can dream that somewhere out there looms a clear, simple solution in that never-never land between private freedom and choice and federal control and coercion.

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