A federal ruling against Obamacare has people talking about what policymakers should do next and a well-known think tank has some ideas.
Earlier this month, a federal court judge ruled the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act zeroed out the tax penalty for people that do not have health coverage.
The tax penalty is what upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
"What policymakers should do now is recognize a couple facts: First, Obamacare is still law and nothing has changed for beneficiaries," observes Marie Fishpaw of The Heritage Foundation. "So what that means that we have a chance to get things right about where to go next, and this court decision is primarily a great reminder to all of us that Obamacare is fundamentally flawed and needs to change."
What is needed now, she says, is a "better path forward" that conservatives have been pushing over the last year. That path forward is known as the Health Care Choices Proposal which, according to Heritage, undoes Obamacare's damage by letting states innovate.
"Under Obamacare, insurance companies receive taxpayer subsidies dollar for dollar as they raise prices," Fishpaw advises. "This proposal does away with that flawed spending scheme."
Instead, the proposal would convert existing Obamacare spending into a grant that states can use to ensure chronically-ill patients have health care coverage.
"Greater flexibility and resources to the states means that all Americans, even those who are chronically sick," she says, "would have access to more health plans at better prices."