Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Stake to the Heart of Obamacare Schadenfreude?

Yet  another  reminder of why Obamacare sucks: The Healthiest State In The Country Has Some Of The Steepest Premiums

Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 11.14.17", the ever sensible Megan McArdle reports that Surprise! Obamacare Enrollment Is Actually Rising. Is there nothing Trump can't fix?

On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal opines that The Individual Mandate Is The Worst Tax Ever
"It doesn’t even further the ACA’s core goal of helping people with pre-existing conditions get coverage."
If you were deliberately trying to design the most arbitrary, painful and pointless tax possible, how would you go about it?

First, you would structure it to inflate the cost of an essential product. Then, you’d create exemptions so vast that only 5% of taxpayers were subject to it. You might even ensure that it hit people only when they were particularly vulnerable—like when they’d lost a job. Finally, you would use it to drive enrollment in entitlements, so that it increased the federal deficit by $338 billion.
and Killing the individual mandate can serve the cause of tax and health-care reform. The CBO estimates that Repealing Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Would Reduce Deficit By $338 Billion, not that anyone seems to care.
The budget office predicts that eliminating the mandate would reduce the deficit by $338 billion from 2018 to 2027 and would decrease the number of those with health insurance by 4 million in 2019 and by 13 million in 2027. Even with this loss, the report says that markets would remain stable in almost all areas of the United States over the next decade.

"We're seeing with the CBO report that repealing the mandate would reduce the deficit by nearly $340 billion over 10 years," says Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. "The report estimates that by 2027, about 13 million fewer Americans would enroll in ACA-compliant plans."
Which is because a lot of people don't actually want to by an "ACA-compliant" plan.
The Washington Post reports that Senate GOP changes tax bill to add Obamacare mandate repeal and the usual suspects are hemming and hawing:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the Republicans who opposed earlier attempts to roll back the health-care law, said Tuesday that including the repeal measure “complicates” the tax effort. But she suggested she might be able to support it if the Senate also passes a bipartisan bill to preserve other aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who along with Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted down an Affordable Care Act repeal effort this summer, declined to say whether he would back a tax bill that included repeal.
The Hill: Senate GOP tax bill will include repeal of ObamaCare mandate.

Sen. John Thune drops the mic on Dems objecting to adding individual mandate repeal to tax bill
The mandate is the heart of Obamacare. Without it, it's really just zombie entitlement.

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