Ginsburg: A 'Practical, Altogether Reasonable, Solution'

By Patrick Burke | June 28, 2012 | 11:32 AM EDT

( - In her concurring and partially dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the Affordable Care Act a “practical, altogether reasonable, solution” pursued by Congress to achieve a “national solution” to the nation's health care problem.

“Aware that a national solution was required, Congress could have taken over the health-insurance market by establishing a tax-and-spend federal program like Social Security. Such a program, commonly referred to as a single-payer system (where the sole payer is the Federal Government), would have left little, if any, room for private enterprise or the States. Instead of going this route, Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act, a solution that retains a robust role for private insurers and state governments,” wrote Ginsburg.

She continued, “To make its chosen approach work, however, Congress had to use some new tools, including a requirement that most individuals obtain private health insurance coverage. As explained below, by employing these tools, Congress was able to achieve a practical, altogether reasonable, solution.”

Ginsburg—along with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer-- voted to uphold the healthcare law in its entirety, including the individual mandate, which the Court decided "may reasonably be characterized as a tax."