What the Supreme Court’s decision on health care means to you


CLARKONOMICS: There is almost zero chance the Supreme Court will uphold the president’s health care law, and when much or all of it is overturned, talk radio will only see the historic ruling through a political prism — as a crushing blow for the Democrats and a big victory for the Republicans.

If that’s your cup of tea, fine, have at it!

But the reality is the problems with health care predate what the GOP calls Obamacare and what the Democrats call the Affordable Care Act. And those same problems will follow after all the political huffing and puffing is over.

We in the U.S. spend close to 18% of our nation’s wealth on health care. The next highest expenditure by a developed country in the world is less than 10%! And we have shorter lifespans to show for it. In fact, we waste more money on health care than some other countries in the world pay for it in total!

Our problem is twofold. Almost half of all Americans receive health care from the government — local, state and federal government, military (both retired and active,) and Medicare and Medicaid. And the other problem is many of us get health care through a private employer. Well, both scenarios distort the marketplace.

In order to be more competitive in the world, we have to take health care and shrink what percent of our national wealth is squandered on it. Now, if it meant suddenly we would have much shorter lifespans by blowing up the current system, that would be one thing. But I can pretty much guarantee that won’t be the case.

I believe health care should be bought individually, not through an employer or through the government. People of lower income, the elderly and the ill should receive a voucher to help subsidize the cost of the purchase.

When all the political sparring is over after the Supreme Court delivers its decision, the question will remain, what’s the answer to the economics of health care? I believe we’ve got to let the free market speak.

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