The result was an abundance of innovation. By the time federal welfare reform was enacted in 1996, many states already had their own reforms, and Americans were largely comfortable with the concept. A similar direction with healthcare is needed to reach a political consensus.
It is troubling that years of partisan rancor have left us so sharply split that a decision that will determine the country’s path for generations to come is left to one judge – no matter how distinguished. Our system isn’t supposed to work this way.
If Justice Kennedy looks at the facts before him, his choice is clear. Reject the federal mandate, and give Congress and the president a second chance to get healthcare right. That would require that the federal government set goals and accountability for progress, all the while allowing states the flexibility and control to get there.
Josh Archambault is the director of health care policy at Pioneer Institute. He is the editor and a co-author of The Great Experiment: The States, The Feds, and Your Healthcare
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