Legal loose ends.

Here’s what Felix Salmn and Co. @ Counterparties have to say about the SCOTUS hearing of Obamacare:

The Supreme Court is about to decide the fate of a $2.6 trillion market that represents approximately 18% of U.S. GDP. To put it differently, a group of judges is about to make one of the most consequential rulings on the economy in memory – even if they, at times, struggle with basic market concepts.

This is a damn big deal. If the court rules the bill’s individual mandate unconstitutional, healthcare costs could rise anywhere from 2 to 40%, according to economists’ estimates. And killing the legislation outright would mean “31 million Americans who otherwise would have health insurance won’t be covered at the end of this decade.”

At the heart of the case is a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance. “If the mandatory coverage provision goes, so does the whole program,” Noah Feldman writes in an impassioned plea for the Court to make economic sense. “Health insurance, it turns out, presents a classic case of market failure,” he adds

You’d be a fool to think that the individual mandate is not crucial to making this policy work and to keeping costs down. But that’s clearly not the point and certainly not what the court is interested in.

The question is whether the law is constitutional. All else is ancillary. We could take our oligarchical judiciary and replace them with economists, but I would suspect that would be a bad idea if we are in fact attempting to maximize the normative goals of liberty.


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