But the rest of us are, through higher deductibles, co-pays, insurance rates, and government debt. Of course, the calculus on this issue is far more complex than this example, but the end result is the same—healthcare costs rising much faster than the rate of inflation, ad infinitum.
For its part, the Supreme Court has been taking its hacks this week, too, via the hearing of oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The future of cost control and healthcare access, whether you like it the way it is now or whether you hope for something better, seems to hinge on the decision of nine men and women in black robes.
In fact, although I won't get into the too much into the legal reasoning, the Court's decision, when we finally have it in June or July, will rest upon that hypothetical patient I just described. Is he a participant in the market by simply requiring healthcare? Or is it possible for him to freely choose not to be a participant in the market because he doesn't require healthcare “right now.”
Whether the so-called individual mandate violates the Constitution rests on the answer to that question, which is ultimately subjective.