Health Care Result: The Solidarity of Americans May be Strengthened (Trouw, The Netherlands)
It is an emerging theme among European commentators: the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act has, in a rare move, chosen social solidarity over individualism as a guiding principle. This editorial from Trouw of The Netherlands expresses some optimism that in America, ‘it has now been established that in some cases, it is necessary and constitutionally permitted to compel citizens to show solidarity with one another.’
The Trouw editorial starts off this way:
The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has not rejected compulsory health insurance is a major victory for President Obama. But it is especially good news for the approximately 30 million Americans who go through life without such insurance. They will no longer be at the mercy of the law of the jungle.
The ideological shift that lies behind the decision is of great significance. In a country where freedom of the individual is worshipped in an almost religious manner, it has now been established that in some cases, it is necessary and constitutionally permitted to compel citizens to show solidarity with one another.
That the Supreme Court achieves this by defining the obligation to be insured as a tax is a technical matter. Fundamentally, this is about the acceptance by the Court of Obama’s premise: that together, the healthy and the ill make an insurance system possible.
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