But Kliff also points out a large irony about the central problem Obamacare and private insurers are facing: The pool of individuals seeking insurance in the exchanges is smaller and less healthy (and thus more expensive to cover) than planned because the individual mandate has turned out to be too weak to encourage younger and healthier Americans to obey the law and buy insurance. … [Read more...] about Obamacare’s Biggest Problem Is That It’s Not Tyrannical Enough
In what is widely being perceived as a “base mobilization” election year, it’s a reasonably good bet that enough Republicans will refuse to do anything to prop up Obamacare and that this dilemma will be resolved in favor of inaction, particularly given all the cross pressures surrounding the omnibus appropriations bill. That might change with some seriously responsible Republican leadership. But expecting that from an endangered Speaker Paul Ryan or from the president who has done so much himself to destabilize Obamacare is likely naïve. … [Read more...] about Hopes Fade That Congress Will Stabilize Obamacare
Republicans have already accused Democrats of politicizing a tragedy, and a number of Democratic operatives privately acknowledged they were concerned about striking the right balance. Biden insists he’s not blaming Trump for the virus but simply wants him to “move faster” with his response. … [Read more...] about Democrats focus on health care as pandemic underscores urgency
These are good and important questions for Democrats, but the first should probably be this: How badly do you want to “fix” Obamacare without transforming it into something very different? A growing number of Democrats now support some form of single-payer health-care system. There is virtually no chance that Republicans will help the country move in that direction. So if the grand idea is that Obamacare was an impure compromise with the evil of private health insurance, and that Democrats should campaign relentlessly on single payer in 2018 and 2020, there may be no reason to “do anything” substantive on health care at all. Yes, that would risk chaos and high premiums in the individual health-insurance markets, and real pain for real people, but perhaps Republicans fear being blamed for those terrible things enough to avoid the worst, without Democratic cooperation. It’s a morally risky, but politically sound strategy. … [Read more...] about Now What? Democrats Must Decide How to Exploit the Collapse of Trumpcare.
If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, Joe Biden almost certainly would be winning Democratic primaries and locking up the nomination about now — coasting from one victory speech to another, basking in the cheers of his supporters and wall-to-wall media coverage. … [Read more...] about Column: Joe Biden is stuck in his basement. It just might help him win