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Obamacare repeal pessimism

Considering their liberal leaning, it isn’t surprising that Vanity Fair is running interference for Obamacare. In their opinion, the “pressure will be on Republicans to fix the $3 trillion U.S. health-care system they have derided for years—and they will have no one to blame but themselves if the insurance market is upended and millions of Americans lose coverage.” Don’t pay attention to these ill-informed people.

This article doesn’t paint another sky-is-falling picture of the situation, saying “Nearly half of the coverage gains made during Obama’s presidency had nothing to do with ACA provisions and will survive repeal. Many other newly insured people will keep their coverage—if changes are made to health-care financing, and if two popular ACA provisions President-elect Trump has spoken favorably of are retained.”

Later in the City Journal article, it says “Previously eligible people enrolled in states that did and didn’t expand Medicaid. Gruber claimed that they signed up due to ‘the ACA’s streamlining of the application process for Medicaid, removal of onerous asset tests for determining eligibility for most applicants and increased public awareness about insurance coverage options.’ But improved enrollment procedures are not dependent on the ACA. These previously eligible enrollees will remain insured after the ACA is repealed.”

During a 60 Minutes interview, the New York businessman advocated retaining two of the bill’s more popular provisions: to ensure Americans with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed coverage and to allow young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. Trump’s pivot might reflect anything from a tenuous understanding of the bill to indifference on the topic. But it might also recognize what a giant, and public, pain in the neck repealing the bill will be. To fully dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Republicans would have to secure 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

Fully dismantling the ACA will require 60 votes. Eliminating the individual and employer mandates won’t require 60 votes. It’ll only require 51 votes because those parts of the ACA were enacted through reconciliation. Also, the Secretary of HHS can issue waivers to let states ignore the ACA if they have a legitimate plan to replace the ACA. That doesn’t require any congressional action.

Republicans passed a bill last year that would’ve fixed the ACA. Predictably, President Obama vetoed the bill. If Senate Democrats want to march in lockstep to Sen. Schumer’s orders, they’ll be marching into political suicide in 2018. First, the ACA isn’t popular. In fact, that’s understatement. Next, 24 Democrats will be up for re-election in 2018, compared with 9 Republicans. Of those 24 Democrats up for re-election in 2018, 10 are from states that President-Elect Trump won. The question quickly turns into ‘will Democrats march in lockstep to Sen. Schumer if they know that they’re likely heading for defeat’? Third, Democrats know that people are pi$$ed at the skyrocketing premiums and unaffordable deductibles. Will Democrats really fight for a product that’s unpopular?

To be fair, I don’t think the ACA will be fully repealed. It doesn’t need to be. The ACA is already collapsing under its own weight. Making a few strategic changes to the ACA will finish it, at which point people that have been forced into policies they didn’t want will rejoice.

Anyone that thinks that replacing the ACA with another plan will be met with scorn is delusional. Then again, Vanity Fair published the article. They’re definitely known for being a left-leaning publication. How much credibility can a magazine have when they’re publishing this?

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Authored By Let Freedom Ring Blog