JLF Memo
Oct. 18th, 2010: - johnlocke.org

Featured Article

Questioning Obamacare, Defending CON
By Joseph Coletti

At a panel discussion sponsored by the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law (NCICL), Adam Linker of the NC Justice Center was hesitant to say the health law passed in March would provide everybody adequate insurance. Groups had previously given up on claims of lowering health care costs and reducing the deficit, but this is only the second time I have seen a supporter give up on the bill's ability to guarantee universal health insurance coverage. The first time was U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D - Cornhusker Kickback) who did so to downplay the cost of Medicaid expansion to states.

Linker's comments were in response to claims that ObamaCare's guarantee of adequate insurance to everybody in America meant that North Carolina would not have to continue central planning of capital investments in health care with certificates of need (CON). Also on the panel were Jason Kay of NCICL, Noah Hufstetler of Nelson Mullins LLP, and Duke University professor Clark Havighurst.

Despite a lack of evidence that CON regulations lower health care costs and strong evidence that competition does, both Kay and Hufstetler were hesitant to end CON on its own. Havighurst was more comfortable with the idea.

Linker, on the other hand, completely ignoring economics and common sense, sounded like Yogi Berra in his defense of the regulations for rural hospitals in particular. In short he said that rural hospitals need certificate of need to protect them from competition because nobody is seeking to challenge their local monopolies. As recently as 2000, just 18 of 100 counties had more than a single hospital system.



ObamaCare Challenge Proceeds
Last week, a federal judge allowed the multi-state lawsuit against ObamaCare to go forward on two challenges -- the ability of the federal government to force people into commerce and whether the federal government is coercing and commandeering states to expand Medicaid. On the Medicaid question, Judge Roger Vinson wrote,

Congress does not really anticipate that the states will (or could) drop out of the Medicaid program. To be sure, since the Act seeks to reduce costs, reduce uncompensated care, and reduce the number of uninsured, it would make little sense for Congress to expect that objecting states would opt out of Medicaid and leave millions of the country's poorest citizens without medical coverage, and thus make each of those stated problems significantly worse.

On the individual mandate, Vinson cited the Congressional Budget Office in 1994 as saying a mandate was "unprecedented" in its requirement of action "as a condition of lawful residence in the United States." Vinson added,

Of course, to say that something is "novel" and "unprecedented" does not necessarily mean that it is "unconstitutional" and "improper." There may be a first time for anything. But, at this stage of the case, the plaintiffs have most definitely stated a plausible claim with respect to this cause of action.

Headlines

Democrats say they'll get health care right next time

Medicare actuary: Reform will hurt seniors

States linking prescription databases for law enforcement

Consolidation continues among hospitals and doctors

Money the reason to close Dix?

Upcoming Events

Monday, Oct. 18th, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Noon1
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Martin Morse Wooster
Great Philanthropic Mistakes

Tuesday, Oct. 19th, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests -
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 2010 at Noon
Triangle Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests JLF Analysts
Triangle Freedom Club Meeting

Thursday, Oct. 21st, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A luncheon
with our special guest The Honorable Bob Barr
The Future of the Second Amendment

Monday, Oct. 25th, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Lawrence H. White
What Ails the American Monetary and Banking System -- and What Should Be Done?

Tuesday, Oct. 26th, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Down East Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests -
Down East Freedom Club Meeting

©2014 John Locke Foundation | 200 West Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919) 828-3876