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ACA Agonistes
Obama’s Brand Thrashed, but Obamacare Survives
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  • Gene

    This law is going to be tinkered with incessantly for decades. What we have 20 years from now will likely be much different regardless of what it’s called. Hell, what we have NOW is not what was passed a few years ago.

    Here’s a case where you just throw a [rhetorical] bone to all those people who just won’t let go of the wonderfulness of ACA or the president it arrived under. Fine, call this ACA or Obamacare till the end of time if it makes you feel like a hero. But get out of the way while smarter people and the market make the changes necessary to make this monstrosity actually work.

  • MartyH

    The meat of Obamcare-employer mandate, penalties for not having coverage, real policy rates without risk corridors as backstops-has not been implemented yet. There was a gag order on the state of and second year exchange rates (where insurers can adjust based on lessons learned from first year data) until after the election.

    This coming year we will have second year rates announced; auto-renewal possibly causing sticker shock; the employer mandate may finally go into effect; people will have to deal with the IRS and pay fines for the first time under the ACA. I’ll bet that ACA polls better with those unaffected by it than it does with those who have been subject to it and that it will be become less popular as it continues to be implemented.

    • Jmaci

      Excellent post!

    • Boritz

      Good points. Perhaps the president will continue to delay enforcement of onerous provisions until January 2017 to ensure that support continues at its current muddled level until after the 2016 election.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The Republicans have managed to convince a lot of working people that more high-end tax cuts will create more livable jobs, despite all evidence to the contrary since the 2001/2003 tax cuts. That’s the main reason they won big a couple of days ago.

    Actually killing the ACA after Obama leaves office hinges COMPLETELY on whether they can convince the same people that there are actually insurers IN OTHER STATES who are somehow just dying to sell them something “good” and “cheap” —-if only the government would get out of the way. The Republicans have never had any disclosed ideas for health care reform except UNSPECIFIED “tort reform” and “selling (UNSPECIFIED) insurance products across state lines.” Even their most-defined offering of the moment—The 2017 Project Alternative—is completely dependent on this concept. Ultimately, as one example mentioned in the 2017 Project blurb, they will be trying to convince people that the whole country will be better off if New Jersey residents can be offered health insurance written under Texas law and standards. This, of course, would be a race downward toward the standards of the least-regulated statement—–always a moving target in red-state land—–with “the market” telling residents of the other 49 states to wave bye-bye to retaining any standards of their own. Whether working people are as dumb in 2016 as many of them were two days ago remains to be seen.

    • MartyH

      “The Republicans have never had any disclosed ideas for health care reform except UNSPECIFIED “tort reform” and “selling (UNSPECIFIED) insurance products across state lines”

      Not true. McCain ran on a platform of severing employment and insurance while offering tax credits to ensure that people did nto bear the cost of this transition.

      Romney’s plan was more state level control of insurance-block grants, reduced federal coverage standards (which drive up costs), strengthening HSAs, along with high risk pools for the uninsurable.

      Broadly, I’d say that Democrats favor health coverage that includes first dollar coverage, while Republicans would like to see it as more like home or auto insurance-covering unexpected and unplanned expenses.

      • FriendlyGoat

        McCain lost, in part, because many Republicans disliked him for being too moderate. Ditto Romney. Their plans are not the core “Republican” ideas.

        Democrats wish for lower deductibles because they realize that actual majorities of citizens do not have $5,000 or $10,000 or even larger amounts to drop up front every year on deductibles and copays. The Democrats actually gave away of lot of that issue, though, (in, say, Bronze exchange plans) in order to get many people covered in the first place and to achieve coverage that does not magically just disappear due to illness, or have limits so low as to exclude a hospital event.

        • MartyH

          Yeah, I’ve never seen a true Scotsman either.

  • Andrew Allison

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of the respondents actually have experience with ACA (cancelled policies, increased premiums for the non-subsidized, narrowed networks, etc) rather than just having heard about it.And, as MartyH points out, the worst is yet to come.

    • Gene

      Yes, and that’s a point I meant to make with my earlier post. A lot of ordinary people consider “ACA” and “a better-functioning health care system” to be synonyms. IOW, when you ask them if they’re in favor of ACA they are really just telling you “I wish our health care system worked better.” They’re not necessarily referring to this bill with its specific mechanisms.

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