Between now and the end of June, the US Supreme Court will rule on whether the entire Affordable Care Act should be overturned because of, once again, the mandate on individual Americans to purchase health insurance if they can afford to do so, or to pay a tax penalty if they don’t. In late 2017, Pres. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress reduced the mandate penalty to zero — triggering a new federal lawsuit by the Texas Attorney General to overthrow the whole law.
In anticipation of that, I describe the 33 year history of the mandate in US health policy & politics, with particular attention to the individual who first brought notice to it in 1989, Stuart Butler, then of the Heritage Foundation and now of the Brookings Institution. In the process, I consider the 40 year history of free-market fundamentalism and neoliberalism in the US, an era that I and many others believe is now coming to an end.
I hope you like it and let me know what you think.