University Professor Schramm Offers Opinion on King v. Burwell
University Professor Carl J. Schramm offers the following opinion on the impact of today’s Supreme Court’s decision on King v. Burwell.
“Today’s decision in King is the most ‘activist’ decision ever to have issued from the Supreme Court. It makes plain statutory meaning subject to a contrary interpretation of legislative intent by judges. The result regarding health care coverage might be correct, but the judicial means by which it has been accomplished is alarming.
“The Supreme Court has now signaled that, henceforth, federal jurisprudence, meaning federal courts operating at all levels, is freed from respecting the plain meaning of any statute’s written words. The legislature need only get ‘close’ to intent, whatever the issue, and the Court may decide to finish the job, to stand in for, as the majority opinion does, elected legislators.
“Moreover, by relying on the prognoses of economists as to what an appellate ruling might or might not do to the already highly complex, opaque and unpredictable market for health insurance, is to have turned to a new wellspring of law. King is the step that makes reliance on law in economic matters a yet more dangerous proposition with ramifications reaching way beyond health care,” Schramm says.
A sought-after expert on issues of innovation, entrepreneurship, and health care, Professor Schramm taught a seminar on the Affordable Care Act to students at Syracuse University College of Law, one of the only classes devoted to this subject at any law school.
A former president of Fortis now (Assurant) Health Care, a major health-insurance company, Professor Schramm’s career started at Johns Hopkins where he founded the nation’s first research center on health care costs. From 2002 to 2011, he was president of the Kauffman Foundation where under his leadership it became the world’s premier organization dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship and understanding the role innovation and new firm formation play in economic growth. Schramm was president of the Health Insurance Association of America in the late 1990s.
Among Schramm’s published books are “Health Care and Its Costs” (W.W. Norton for the American Assembly, 1987); “The Entrepreneurial Imperative” (Harper Collins, 2006); “Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism” (Yale, 2007); and “Inside Real Innovation” (World Scientific, 2010). “The Entrepreneurial Imperative” and “Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism” illustrate how less-developed nations can accelerate growth through entrepreneurship, while urging the United States itself to reinvigorate its own commitment to small business as the force that made it the world’s leading economy.