The Hill reported on Thursday that Senate Republicans are arguing over whether to support a House-passed bill that would partially repeal Obamacare or go ahead with a full repeal, as Sen Mike Lee and presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio demand. However, as the Washington Examiner reports, a repeal may become a moot point. The Affordable Care Act is in a death spiral with insurance companies like United Health moving to pull out of the individual policy exchanges.
The problem is that not enough Americans are signing up for the policies under the exchanges, even with generous tax subsidies. The premiums are too high, and the deductibles are so big that having the policies are the same for most people as having no health insurance at all. In that kind of environment, the system is simply unsustainable.
“A study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in October found that about 24 million Americans are eligible for tax credits — subsidies — to buy insurance through Obamacare. This year, about 10 million of them selected plans, with about 8.6 million actually paying the money and enrolling.
“That’s an enrollment rate of about 35 percent of those eligible for subsidies. Think about it: Only one in three people is signing up for Obamacare even if the government gives them money to help pay for it. It’s a rate below what is necessary for Obamacare to survive in the long run.”
Remember, that when the ACA first passed, its proponents promised that it would save an average family $2,500 and that one could keep one’s plan and doctor if one wanted. Neither turned out to be true. Now, it looks like the exchanges are on the brink of collapse, meaning that no plans will be available at any price.
The political advantage goes to Republicans who have campaigned to repeal “every last word” of Obamacare.
“This is a potent political issue. Republican base voters have never gone along with the party’s Beltway elites in making their peace with Obamacare. Any candidate who pledges on the stump to repeal every word of the Affordable Care Act wins a raucous round of applause. And in light of recent news, look for them to do it more and more.”
Of course at least one Republican candidate, a Cuban-American from Texas, has promised just that.
It goes almost without saying that Democrats, who have mulishly fought to preserve every last word of Obamacare, no matter how much of a train wreck it had become, will suffer the most going into 2016.