Links to what I’ve been reading.
The White House filed its amicus brief in the Supreme Court ACA case, Sarah Kliff covers the essentials:
The Department of Justice has just now filed its brief with the Supreme Court defending the health reform law’s individual mandate. You can read all 130 pages here, but the crux of the argument is this: A decision not to purchase health insurance affects the national economy. And under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, Congress has the authority to regulate such economically significant decisions.
[…] Most of us already have picture IDs in the form of driver licenses. And nearly all of us have a permanent ID number in the form of a Social Security number. So like it or not, if you’re worried about having tons of information about yourself collected into computerized databases —well, that ship sailed a long time ago. It’s already happened.
Don Taylor wades into the debate over rationing:
[…] On balance, I come down thinking that it would be unethical to completely ignore cost and effectiveness information. At the same time, I don’t want a robot providing my care who was just following guidelines, and there are areas of great uncertainty in any event. Though as Aaron and others have noted, ACP probably needs to work on their language.
The Affordable Care Act has done very well in court so far; three of the four courts of appeals to consider it have upheld the law. Moreover, there is every reason why it should be doing well. As conservative Judge Laurence Siliberman recently explained, the legal case against health reform “cannot find real support for their proposed rule in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent.”
David Runciman wonders what condition the European Crisis will leave democracy:
[…] The whole thing is simultaneously deeply threatening and somehow remote. The worst-case scenarios are so ghastly that it’s almost impossible to fathom what they would mean, but for that reason it’s equally hard to imagine mature democracies deciding to walk off a cliff. This is what gives the crisis its peculiar character. We know we are in trouble but we don’t know how much trouble, because we have an underlying suspicion that we will pull back from the edge, if only we could be clear about where the edge is. Democracies often look like they are in a total pickle, but they always get out of the mess in the end. Don’t they?
Matt Yglesias attempts to explain Austrian economics for the uninformed:
As he declared quasi-victory in Iowa following a third-place finish, Ron Paul puzzled cable news watchers across the country by proudly proclaiming, “We are all Austrians now.” The average Republican presidential candidate would sooner officiate a gay marriage than praise Europe, yet here was Paul pledging allegiance to Vienna. What did he mean? Why would we all be Austrians?
Paul’s statement was crystal clear to those familiar with the internecine controversies of the libertarian movement. He was referring to so-called “Austrian economics,” an idiosyncratic passion of his and a set of beliefs that put him at odds with the vast majority of well-known economists of all ideological inclinations.