SCOTUS ruling on the constitutionality of the ACA is Imminent. Can it be any easier to politicize this most divisive issue? On one hand, striking down the key provision of the individual mandate is seen by many as the most prudent measure in curtailing healthcare costs sure to spiral out of control once insurance companies take advantage of an expanded marketplace all under the president’s rubric of increased access. Voiced by detractors as an irresponsible means of unnecessary government stipulation simply as a legacy prop for the president, the mandate is sure to sink any gains already implemented (coverage of young adults until 26 years of age, revocation of pre-existing condition denials) at the public’s expense.
On the other hand, proponents yearning for a majority dissent on a mandate strike fear that this action would be only the tip of the iceberg — inviting everyone from high powered lobbyists to similarly fashioned ambitious lawmakers to work to rescind the ACA en toto, on the basis of unsustainable spending (if we can’t afford the mandate, how can we afford coverage of denials of pre-existing conditions?). It’s a potentially heady time at the junction of politics and the (supposedly) impartial and non-partisan courts. Of course, there is always the faction that just wants the high court to strike the whole thing in one fell swoop, citing such factors as certain burdens on employers and their plans, expanded state bureaucracies in dealing with healthcare exchanges, and provider burnout/attrition at the sheer numbers of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries sure to balloon in number following the upheld law.
Let the punditry begin!