Boehner’s bad timing on ‘ObamaCare’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

As if the first 39 failed attempts were not good enough, the TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, has scheduled yet another vote to repeal "ObamaCare," or at least a portion of it today. Boehner's bad timing: the New York Times reports today Individual Cost of Health Plans in New York Set to Fall 50%. Doh!

This follows lower than expected rates in the states of California and Oregon earlier this year. States implementing 'ObamaCare' in good faith are seeing good results.

Steve Benen reports today, The House GOP's futile, poorly timed efforts to gut Obamacare:

House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) timing could be better. Hoping
to capitalize on the bad press surrounding delay in the implementation
of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate provision (even though
the move was substantively meaningless), House Republicans are set to
move on their latest idea: a vote on delaying the individual mandate,
too.

Politically, the move arguably makes some sense. Even though
Republicans came up with the idea of the individual mandate, they've
since turned it into one of the least popular provisions in "Obamacare."
By singling it out for a delay, GOP lawmakers bring attention to a
controversial health care policy and put Democrats on the spot for
defending it. Their bill won't become law, of course — Republicans love
symbolic, post-policy governing [nihilism] — but they might get a few attack ads
out of this.

But substantively, there's a problem. In fact, there's more than one.

First, by going after the individual mandate, House Republicans are taking a bold stand in support of leaving 13.7 million Americans without any health care coverage at all.

Second,
GOP lawmakers are also simultaneously (and admittedly) positioning
themselves in support of a policy that leads to higher premiums and gaps for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

And
third, Republican lawmakers are, for purely political reasons, obsessed
with gutting federal health care law
at the same time as
new-but-inconvenient evidence emerges that the law is working extremely well.

Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their
premiums tumble next year in New York State as changes under the federal
health care law take effect, state officials are to announce on
Wednesday.

State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that
are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available
in New York. Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now
pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health
insurance for as little as $308 monthly. With federal subsidies, the
cost will be even lower.

Supporters of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act,
credited the drop in rates to the online purchasing exchanges the law
created, which they say are spurring competition among insurers that are
anticipating an influx of new customers. The law requires that an
exchange be started in every state.

If elected officials' principal goal is to pursue
policies that benefit the public, launching a crusade to sabotage the
Affordable Care Act really doesn't make any sense.

Cartoon_03

Skeptics have noted this morning that New York's insurance market is
uniquely messy, so the results aren't representative of the impact we'll
see elsewhere. Perhaps. But Matt Yglesias argues persuasively that it's
"a big deal anyway."

The first reason is that New York is a really big state. Its almost
20 million residents account for over 6 percent of the American
population.[…]

But this is also important because there's a lesson here. At various
points, the Affordable Care Act's critics in Congress have suggested
that they might be interested in keeping the popular-sounding aspects of
Obamacare — the community rating, the guaranteed issue — but just
scrap all that unfortunate mandate talk and tax increases. The New York
experience shows why that won't work. That lesser plan is essentially
what New York did some years back, and the consequences were enormous
premium hikes as the state's market was rocked by adverse selection.
Affordable Care Act implementation, by adding the nasty elements back
in, is fixing a huge problem that other states don't suffer from but
that would exist everywhere if Congress took the approach of just doing
the easy parts.

In light of this, House Republicans are eager —
desperate, even — to boast about their efforts to gut the law, no
matter what it does to the uninsured and people with pre-existing
conditions, and even though it does more of what we already know doesn't
work.

Yet another symbolic vote for the Tea Party crazies, in the post-policynihilism world of the GOP.

Comments are closed.