The Supreme Court says the Affordable Care Act fits within the boundaries of the Constitution. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. The Constitution isn't a national shield to protect us from horribly flawed thinking.
The Supreme Court's decision means every American is now on the hook to buy health insurance -- whether we want it or not. We're going to be forced to reach into our pockets to pull out money for health coverage. Some of the most creative thinking has gone into what to call that money. Already, it has carried a number of labels: the individual mandate, a premium, a fee, a "shared responsibility payment."
The labels are fog and smoke -- intended to obscure, not to explain.
But Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the court's majority opinion, called it what it is -- a tax. And it was on that basis that the health care law was allowed to stand.
"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.
So, it can be unfair. It can be dumb. It can be wrong. And it can still be constitutional.
I'm disappointed by the Supreme Court's ruling. And I'm not happy that some in Washington haven't leveled with the American public.
Two years ago, when the Democrats who then controlled the House passed the Affordable Care Act, they were adamant that it wasn't a tax. President Obama was adamant that it wasn't a tax. Now, the Supreme Court says it's a tax. Regardless of how it's labeled, the law should be repealed.
We have the best doctors and hospitals in the world, but I'm concerned that this law won't ensure better care for patients. Instead, it could dictate how doctors practice medicine -- and it could reduce treatment options for patients on the basis of cost.
We can all agree that our health care system needs some serious reforms -- reforms that actually lower costs, make coverage more affordable for families and businesses, and keep the government out of our health care decisions. Obamacare fails on those points. Just because the Supreme Court says it's constitutional doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.