Jeffrey Toobin writing in the New Yorker:
The main argument that opponents of the health-care law have come up with is that the mandate regulates economic inactivity—i.e., not buying insurance—and the Commerce Clause allows only the regulation of economic activity. In the first appellate review of the law, last summer, the Sixth Circuit demolished that argument. The court pointed out that there are two unique characteristics of the market for health care: “(1) virtually everyone requires health care services at some unpredictable point; and (2) individuals receive health care services regardless of ability to pay.” Thus, there was no such thing as “inactivity” in the health-care market; everyone participates, even if he or she chooses not to buy insurance.
I don’t understand this argument. Health care is not health insurance. There is no inactivity in the health care market, but there is inactivity in the health insurance market. The law mandates health insurance purchases, not health care purchases. This does not seem to be a valid comparison.
Also, Ezra Klein writes regarding Paul Ryan’s budget plan:
It’s Medicaid and other health spending, which includes the Affordable Care Act, where Ryan really brings down the hammer: That category falls by 1.25 percent of GDP. So Ryan’s cuts to health care for the poor are almost twice the size of his cuts to health care for the old.
The plan cuts government-provided health insurance to the poor, not health care to the poor. The distinction is important because there is evidence that in some cases being uninsured is comparable to being on Medicare (see here, here, and here).