THERE IS little question that health care reform is America’s most important domestic issue in generations. Should the Supreme Court vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act, or the core piece of it, the mandate to be insured, then the effect on the American people would be momentous.
Pre-existing conditions would become giant barriers to affordable, quality health care services, and people who become very ill or lose their jobs would be dropped from coverage and forced to make decisions concerning buying food or medicine. Young people over 21, who find it all but impossible to find a job, much less health insurance, would be dropped from their parents’ coverage.
All the humane reasons aside, Congress was well within its authority to consider and pass this act, and the court would have to overturn some 20 years of precedents to strike it down.
A generation from now, the Affordable Care Act will be seen as one of the greatest social achievements of the 21st century, as we now see the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act.
What Congress and the president have created, let no man - or nine men and women - put asunder.
Henry A. Lowenstein
New YorkThe writer is a former CEO of for-profit and nonprofit health care service providers in New York and Los Angeles.