Monday, March 26, 2012

US Supreme Court Decision Will Be Irrelevant To US Health Care

As I have written in the past (here and here) on this blog, the new health care law does nothing to resolve the underlying economic issues facing health care in the US. Robert Samuelson makes a similar argument on Real Clear Politics that the health care law does very little to improve the health of its supposed beneficiaries.

From either an economic or health related perspective, the US Supreme Court decision about the new health care law is irrelevant. The decision, if the court reaches one and does not defer until the penalty tax goes into effect in 2015, will only impact the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause.

From Real Clear Politics, "Obama's Ego Trip" by Robert Samuelson:
Rarely has a program [Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act] with so little potential inspired so much contention. Although millions would benefit from health insurance, the overall relationship between people's insurance status and their self-reported health is underwhelming. Consider a study of Massachusetts' universal coverage program, enacted under former Gov. Mitt Romney, by economists Charles J. Courtemanche of the University of Louisville and Daniela Zapata of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It estimated that about 1.4 percent of the state's adult population moved into the "very good" or "excellent" health categories.

Another study by economist Daniel Polsky of the University of Pennsylvania examined what happened to uninsured Americans who went on Medicare at age 65. Polsky found "no significant health effect for the uninsured relative to the insured upon reaching Medicare eligibility." [Emphasis added.]

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