Since the two Supreme Court decisions on June 28, 2012 and June 25, 2015, which upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate and affirmed the law’s federal subsidies in all states, there has been much rhetoric on both sides of the fence, much of it less than helpful.

Since the two Supreme Court decisions on June 28, 2012 and June 25, 2015, which upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate and affirmed the law’s federal subsidies in all states, there has been much rhetoric on both sides of the fence, much of it less than helpful.  

People with pre-existing diseases who previously could not find affordable health insurance mostly have found this new health care law a blessing. Others in poor health also have hurried in to take advantage of the benefits of the ACA. Those in good health, however, have been slower to act.

Fewer well people in the risk pool necessitates some rising insurance premiums. That is why it is important that we have the individual mandate and increase the size of the risk pool.

The ironic thing is that a much simpler bill could have been written using a single-payer model to get health care to all. What we got instead is a cobbled-together mess based partly on Gov. Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan and on a conservative Heritage Foundation model. The ACA also takes into account the wishes of the private insurance lobby.

There is nothing wrong with using someone else’s model, but in this case, the normal legislative process misfired and the ACA bill was unable to go through the usual compromise committee process. Two things prevented that: Sen. Ted Kennedy’s replacement in the Senate by Republican Scott Brown and the GOP’s commitment to block all of the president’s agenda in its attempt to make him a one-term president.

In spite of state Rep. Bill Lant’s claim to the contrary in a previous column, the ACA has saved money, has not taken funds from Medicare, and many more Americans are insured.

It is no secret that insurance premiums have been increasing faster than inflation for many years, and it is disingenuous to imply that those increases are the result of the ACA. Since the implementation of the act, increases have been reduced substantially. Fortune magazine recently reported that a ruling against providing subsidies would have prompted a spike in the cost of health insurance, predicting a 256 percent increase in premiums this year.

In answer to Lant’s assertion that the Supreme Court made a decision “based upon what they ‘think’ the writers of the Constitution meant to say,” it is apparent that he is confused. The court was charged with interpreting the intent of Congress when it passed the ACA, not determining the intent of the writers of the Constitution.  In this case, the court judged that Congress did not intend to set up a program that was destined to fail because of technicalities.

Although the most recent ACA court decision was not a constitutional issue, I do see it as a matter of equality under the law. All other developed nations believe that all of their citizens deserve some level of decent, efficient, affordable health care. We stand out as the only industrialized country that ties health care to employment, and this is spotty at best.

Tying health care to employment originally began as a perk after World Ware II when wages were frozen. Now, 70 years later, as health costs continue to rise, I am very surprised that businesses are not demanding a rethinking of our outdated system. Why should a business have to consider its employees’ possible accidents, sicknesses and family planning when formulating a budget or business plan? We need a fresh perspective.

The ACA does not address the quality versus quantity issue that is driving up health-care costs, but those costs were rising much faster before the ACA went into effect. President Obama is the first president, after decades of attempts, who finally has given us a chance to extend health coverage to all American citizens.

Now it is up to us to stop bickering and work together to find ways to bring our spiraling health-care costs under control, limit “pain and suffering” malpractice awards and rewrite the parts of the ACA that need to be fixed. I’m sure that we can find some common ground if we put our greed (profits before people) and partisan politics aside and look at our crippled health system with fresh eyes. There are good models to follow in other parts of the world, and we would do well to look around us and do the research needed.

Let’s work together to see what we can do to make the ACA and our health-care system more efficient and cost-effective. This is a bipartisan issue and should be treated as such.

Unless we can come together to make the necessary repairs — not  repeal — the crisis of the non-insured may become the crisis of the underinsured as costs and premiums continue to skyrocket.

Catherine Rhoades writes an occasional column for the Daily News.