As Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act wind down today, I found this editorial from the Harrisburg Patriot-News particularly interesting:
The ringing irony about this week’s U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act is that the law’s core principles were all, originally, conservative. And when they were first promoted, almost no one said they were unconstitutional. ...
As late as 2007, Democrats and Republicans introduced a bipartisan bill that included an individual mandate — still seen as an essentially conservative idea. [Former U.S. House Speaker Newt] Gingrich in 2007 argued that “citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it.”
In other words, the individual mandate is not creeping socialism. It is the opposite. It is about requiring citizens to take individual responsibility in the arena of health care, where the inaction of some costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
Food for thought as you listen to commentators, activists and politicians rail against a law that ends coverage bans for pre-existing conditions and other insurer abuses, provides better preventatives care to everyone, ensures children can see a doctor when they get sick, and gives families the tools they need to take responsibility for their health coverage.