Does The Fate of the Affordable Care Act Hang In The Balance of the 2012 Election?

October 11th, 2012

The New York Times thinks so, painting a “stark choice in health care” based on the outcome of the election.

When Americans go to the polls next month, they will cast a vote not just for president but for one of two profoundly different visions for the future of the country’s health care system. With an Obama victory on Nov. 6, the president’s signature health care law — including the contentious requirement that most Americans obtain health insuranceor pay a tax penalty — will almost certainly come into full force, becoming the largest expansion of the safety net since President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through his Great Society programs almost half a century ago.

If Mr. Romney wins and Republicans capture the Senate, much of the law could be repealed — or its financing cut back — and the president’s goal of achieving near-universal coverage could take a back seat to Mr. Romney’s top priority, controlling medical costs.

One important word appears nowhere in the article. Constitution. Another important word also doesn’t appear. Mandate. The entire debate has shifted from getting rid of the mandate to funding for medicaid and medicare. The mandate, the crux of the constitutional challenge, is here to stay. It’s amazing that this law almost died for an issue that no one now cares about.