Fearmongering Today: If Court Strikes Down Mandate, States Might Have To Pass Their Own


It’s time for another breathless look in the crystal ball to find out “OMG, if the mandate is struck down, Bad Things might possibly happen!!!!!!!” Remember when the news used to be about things that have happened, rather than seeing reporters do their best Madame Zelda impression?

(Politico ) If the Supreme Court strikes down the health reform law’s individual mandate, the states at the forefront of implementing the law could find themselves like Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons: racing ahead only to discover there’s no ground underneath their feet.

These states were all counting on the individual mandate to make health insurance exchanges viable – because without a requirement for most people to buy coverage, there’s a chance that healthy people could avoid paying into the system, making premiums skyrocket.

How utterly awful! Healthy people would be allowed to make their own free choice as to whether or not to purchase health insurance in a country founded on freedom, including freedom to make your own choices and a freedom from government tyranny. One has to wonder how many states were counting on the mandate, since 26 are suing the Central Government over this, and took it to the Supreme Court, while most of the rest haven’t bothered implementing any Exchanges as of yet.

So a ruling against the requirement could force states to either consider enacting their own individual mandates – hoping people will be more accepting of them more than of a federal mandate – or pass other measures to draw healthy people into the system so their insurance markets don’t go off a cliff.

Everybody Panic!!!!!1!!! Or not, since we have no idea what will happen. But, if they do enact mandates, that is well within the boundaries of the Constitution. It would suck, but, it would be in keeping with our federalist system.

And, ironically, lawmakers in the states opposing the federal mandate might face intense pressure from local insurance companies to pass state mandates if the Supreme Court doesn’t also strike down the rules preventing them from charging more or denying coverage to sicker people. Insurers could frame a choice for these lawmakers: Either embrace the individual mandate or watch us close shop in your state because we can’t make a profit.

Interestingly, throughout the numerous number of future prognostications, the Politico forgets that there are, in fact, other options. Removing the large number of coverage mandates for what health care options insurance carriers must offer with every plan is one. Does a young single male really need coverage for gynecological issues, breast pumps, and mammograms? Do young women need coverage for prostate exams, male infertility, and testicular issues? Getting young people into the system would vastly increase number of healthy people to offset those who are more apt to get sick (or are sick), so, reducing the upfront cost would be a great boon.

States could band together to create larger insurance pools, if the Central Government would get out of the way. Increase the usage of health savings accounts. Allow portability for insurance from state to state. Allow cross state insurance purchasing. Na, Liberals like those at the Politico prefer the tyranny of a federal mandate over the possibility of a state enacting a mandate.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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