John Derbyshire gets to the nub of the policy problem, regardless of how SCOTUS rules:
So far as financing healthcare is concerned, there is a source and a sink. The source — the place where the money gets raised — is healthy youngish citizens who don’t need much healthcare and pay lots of taxes. The sink — the place where the money gets spent — is geezers who need lots of health care but no longer work or pay taxes. Any conceivable healthcare system is a transfer of resources from the first group to the second.
In a democratic society, the transfer must be a voluntary one. Healthy young people must be willing to pay for the geezer’s hip replacement. In the particular society we inhabit, the pool of young people is dwindling as birthrates fall, the pool of geezers is swelling as Baby Boomers retire and longevity improves, and somewhere in those numbers there is a straw and a camel’s back.
Obamacare is a hamfisted attempt to square the circle, applying federal legal compulsion to make the camel keep a stiff back. My ill-informed impression is that it’s unconstitutional; and what we heard in the oral arguments this week suggests that the Supremes may so rule.
Whether Obamacare stands or falls, though, the fundamental problem remains. The problem is generational, massively fiscal, and deadly serious. Someone’s going to have to come up with a solution. It’s not going away.
Jonathan Adler thinks “relative lack of ideological diversity within legal academia” explains how/why the Left underestimated the C challenge to Obamacare.
Someone who believes the PPACA is a long-overdue step toward remedying the profound injustices of the American health care system is not predisposed to embrace arguments that the PPACA is unconstitutional. And if those same academics both lack colleagues with opposing points of view and have no particular professional interest in making sure they fairly consider the other side, it is easy for them to overlook the strength of opposing arguments and reduce them to caricatures.