The year is winding down, and soon a new Congress and a new President will take up the issue of what to do about Obamacare.
By way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 12.28.16", the usually sensible Megan McArdle admits, somewhat belatedly, that Obamacare as a failure, after all: Obamacare Didn’t Fail Because It’s Timid
Kevin Drum of Mother Jones thinks that making Obamacare work could have been a simple task for Democrats. All they needed was two things:Read the whole thing to find out why.
- About twice as much funding, and
- A higher tax penalty for not buying insurance.
More funding would have allowed them to offer higher subsidies to people with incomes above 200 percent of the poverty line, plus lower deductibles, while a mandate equal to the cost of an insurance policy would have left people with little choice other than to buy insurance. Since the people who forgo insurance today tend to be the folks who use little health care, this would have lowered the average cost of insurance for everyone.
Why didn’t they do this? Kevin blames timidity -- “Democrats were fixated on Obamacare costing under $1 trillion” -- and a “hack gap”:
If this were a Republican plan, and it were something they really wanted, they wouldn’t have bothered with funding. They would have just made up a story about medical inflation coming down (which it is) and broader health coverage leading to improved economic growth blah blah blah. Democrats weren’t willing to do that.Judging from my interactions with readers and my friends and family who don’t happen to spend their days marinating in health-care policy, the view that Obamacare’s problems are due to Democrats not being sufficiently left-wing, or dishonest, is pretty common on the left. That makes it worth refuting, because -- with all due respect to Kevin -- it’s completely wrong. . .
Meanwhile, in the real world: Another Obamacare Co-Op Exits Exchanges, Leaving Only 5 Co-Ops in 2017. Because it was so well planned.
Republicans prime the ground for Obamacare repeal
Republicans are trying to prime the ground for Obamacare repeal with a key message: The law was failing anyway.Making Good on the Promise to Repeal Obamacare
. . .
"This law is hurting families in America," Ryan said before Congress left Washington for the holidays.
"This law is canceling insurance plans people wanted, this law is giving people repeated double-digit premium increases, this law is raising deductibles so high it doesn't even feel like you have insurance," he said. "So you have to bring Obamacare relief as fast as we possibly can in 2017, and that is our plan."
. . .
"Once Obamacare is repealed, we will make sure there is a stable transition period so that people don't have the rug pulled out from under them," Ryan's office said this week in a statement, one in a series of Obamacare-themed releases this month.
. . . Obamacare is the newest of our Big Government entitlements. It’s been completely operational for three years. So if Republicans can’t repeal this latest addition to the welfare state, then they ought to throw in the towel and go over to the Dark Side. Even though premiums and deductibles are soaring and the only people who like Obamacare are the ones not paying for it, Democrats say it would be heartless to take it away from folks. But we don’t have the money. . .GOP considers holding off on repealing ObamaCare taxes Repealing taxes is nearly as difficult as repealing an entitlement.
The NYT notices: Health Exchange Enrollment Jumps, Even as G.O.P. Pledges Repeal Yes, that's why they call it a mandate; something you have to do or pay a price. Obama to huddle with Hill Democrats on saving Obamacare He's not even gone yet, and he's already the worst ex-President ever.