“Far from ‘inactivity,’ by choosing to forgo insurance, Plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for health care services later, out of pocket, rather than now, through the purchase of insurance. As Congress found, the total incidence of these economic decisions has a substantial impact on the national market for health care by collectively shifting billions of dollars on to other market participants and driving up the prices of insurance policies.”

A federal judge in Virginia cited this as his reasoning for affirming the constitutionality for the individual mandate. This is as shortsighted as it is wrong. The assumption that paying for health care later is an active choice of consumer is simply incorrect. The reality is that people don’t purchase health insurance because the market is not giving them a product they want and can afford. The insurance market has been crippled by mandates, regulations, and especially by cost-driving government programs for so long it cannot serve the population at whole.

The courts do not understand the underlying problems in the health care industry and have proven incapable of accommodating the vibrant, diversified, and innovative environment needed to solve the complex problems in health care. The states are the only current source from which effective reform can come. As laboratories of innovation, the states can work with the marketplace to develop unique and creative solutions for the problems we face today. Let the courts enforce law; let the states govern.

– Spencer Harris