The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 has stirred considerable controversy. In the public debate over the program, many of its proponents defended it by focusing on what is sometimes called the “free-rider” problem. In a prior article, we contended that the free-rider problem has been greatly exaggerated and was not likely to have been a significant factor in the congressional decision to adopt the Act. We maintained that the free-rider issue is a red herring that was advanced to trigger an emotional attraction for the Act and distract attention from the actual issues that favor and disfavor its adoption. In a recently published article, Professors Nicholas Bagley and Jill Horwitz responded to our article. For convenience, we will sometimes refer to the two professors collectively as “the professors.” In addition to addressing the free-rider issue, they also made a number of points in defense of the Act. We will concentrate on responding to those items that were discussed in our prior article and deal with only some of their other points.


Health Law and Policy

Date of this Version