The problem with ObamaCare—a problem its supporters don’t address—is that it fixes no problem in our health-care system. Instead, it subsidizes more people to consume health care at taxpayer expense. As the WSJ’s Holman W. Jenkins points out, of the eight million people who have signed up for ObamaCare, 87% are receiving taxpayer subsidies.
The pending decision in King vs. Burwell is a lethal threat to ObamaCare, writes Mr. Jenkins, in that it argues that the IRS is illegally misreading the law to grant subsidies to 6.7 enrollees in federal exchanges known as HealthCare.gov.
King is a threat to ObamaCare because, without subsidies, ObamaCare is nothing. It fixes no problem in our health-care system, except to subsidize more people to consume health care at taxpayer expense.
Subsidies aren’t always undesirable: They help some people get necessary care. But they do the most good when used sparingly, because subsidies also tend to inflate prices for everyone and encourage inefficient consumption that doesn’t improve health and may even endanger health.
ObamaCare, for all its flaws, could become the instrument by which responsible reformers renew their push for health care that delivers value for money. In the meantime, however, no worthwhile thoughts about ObamaCare, pro or con, are to be heard from people who count a program as a success just because Americans enjoy receiving benefits at the expense of other Americans.
Read more from Holman Jenkins here.