1. June or July: Health Reform Ruling

The most significant story of course will be the Supreme Court ruling on the Obama health reform plan. My colleague Joe Goedert gave a good overview of the potential impact of the ruling in our January issue. Given the court’s close liberal/conservative divide, it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen. But if the court tosses out the individual mandate to purchase insurance, my fear is that the country will be in an even bigger heap o’ trouble on the health front than it is now. Such a ruling could enshrine for years the already profound disconnect between consumers and health care economics. For years, health care has been something that somebody else paid for, something that somebody else did to us, and something that somebody else was to blame for if we didn’t like the outcome. We currently have a system of such misaligned incentives and a public in such denial about risky health behaviors it’s no wonder costs are out of control and chronic diseases are beginning to choke our resources.

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