Economists Enter Legal Fray In Defense Of Health Reform

David Cutler of Harvard and Jonathan Gruber of MIT are just two of the 35 renowned economists who have signed an amicus brief in support of the national health reform law, which currently faces a constitutional challenge as part of a multi-state lawsuit underway in Florida. At issue is the health law's requirement that most individuals get health insurance.

The group of economists, including three Nobel laureates, "say they have an interest in 'assisting the Court in its understanding of the underlying economics that are at the heart of the minimum coverage provisions" of the law,' writes NPR's Julie Rovner in a blog post on the federal lawsuit today.

How do they want to help? Well, the economists want to make sure Judge Vinson understands that, despite the claims of the law's opponents that requiring individuals to carry health insurance could lead to unprecedented federal intrusion in people's lives, "the unique economics of health care distinguish it from virtually every other business and demonstrate that upholding the constitutionality of that provision will not serve as a basis for unlimited expansion of the federal government’s powers."

This program aired on November 16, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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