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TMFHelical (99.10)

One to Watch out For

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November 18, 2011 – Comments (0)

I've always focused on the healthcare space in CAPs, both with picks and my blog which tracks a real portfolio.  Well, in terms of affecting the industry, there will be no larger 'event' than this one.

 

High Court to Rule on Health Reform Legality

The US Supreme Court, as expected, will decide if key provisions of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul law violate the Constitution by exceeding the federal government’s power to regulate interstate commerce and to levy taxes. The key issue is whether Congress can require every American to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. State officials and other parties are challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and differing legal rulings on the issue has brought it to the High Court for a final ruling.

The Justices indicated Nov. 14 that they will hear oral arguments in March, which would lead to a ruling on the case in June, just four months prior to the November presidential elections. Whether the Court regards the ACA as an illegal expansion of federal government power – as opponents claim – or a valid way to regulate commerce – will have a profound impact on the national political debate. The decision also is slated to shape the legacy of the Supreme Court under chief justice John Roberts.

My first thought is 'that would be a very fast ruling'.  Second is a deep interest in the arguments pro and con.  I don't much care for the mandate, but do feel that we need to insure to some degree, and that just requiring that they not be turned away (the past method) is not the way to do it.  So what is the alternative?  Perhaps national health care?  A voucher system?  I don't much know, but I do believe that those who oppose the mandate need to be careful that they get their wish.

With all else said, what I like least about the healthcare bill was that it entrenched the existing 'employer based system' that provides insurance to so many, and also largely blinds them to the costs.  For those in such a working environment, health care should be reimbursed at the employer level, not provided.  And the tax-free portion should be via a tax credit.  

TMFHelical

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