Why the Supreme Court's ObamaCare Decision Isn't As Bad As You Think


On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the case arising from the legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts rejected the Obama administration's claim that Congress may force Americans to buy health insurance under its power to "regulate commerce…among the several states" but found the mandate lawful under a different constitutional provision, Congress' power to "lay and collect taxes."

Most opponents of the health care law promptly described the ruling as an unmitigated disaster, but not the libertarian legal scholar most closely associated with the case: Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett. An attorney for the National Federation of Independent Business and one of the architects of the ObamaCare legal challenge, Barnett maintains there is a silver lining to Roberts' ruling. In an interview from Reason's October issue with Senior Editor Damon Root, Barnett explains why the ObamaCare decision isn't as bad as you think.