: The Supreme Court's RomneyCare Decision and the Future of Health Care Reform: 07/02/2012: As delivered at the U.C. Berkeley SCOTUS ACA Forum, July 2, 2012:
With respect to last Thursday: One piece of background is all-important in assessing the decision: ObamaCare is RomneyCare.
The health-care reform plan that Mitt Romney proposed when he was Governor of Massachusetts is the health-care reform plan that Barack Obama proposed. RomneyCare made it through the Massachusetts legislature with only two dissenting votes. No office-holding Republican complained that RomneyCare was bad policy, or would destroy the economy, or would be unconstitutional, or whatnot--for it was the signature policy initiative of a Republican governor. The mandate that was at its core? That was the conservative Personal Responsibility principle. And remember the centerpiece of the Bush administration's Social Security privatization proposals: it was an individual mandate to regulate 'inactivity': to require that people who had not established their own private individual retirement accounts do so.
Had the issue of 'inactivity' reached the justices in the form of a challenge to a Republican mandate to purchase retirement accounts rather than a Democratic mandate to purchase health insurance, the Republican justices would have voted the other way.