Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Clutching those pearls

Obamacare is still a dicey proposition politically and that seems to bother some of our betters, who are worried about the nefarious plots of scheming Republicans or something. Sounding the alarm, The New York Times breathlessly announces that water is wet:

A number of health insurance changes have already taken place, but this fall, just as the 2014 election season heats up, is the deadline for introducing the law’s core feature: the insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, where millions of uninsured Americans can buy coverage, with subsidies for many.
For the third time, Republicans are trying to make the law perhaps the biggest issue of the elections, and are preparing to exploit every problem that arises. After many unsuccessful efforts to repeal the law, the Republican-led House plans another vote soon. And Republican governors or legislatures in many states are balking at participating, leaving Washington responsible for the marketplaces.
The deuce you say! Really? Why would they do that? Well, the Times spells out the reason later on:
The stakes for the president are high. The ultimate success of the law, and in turn his domestic legacy, depends on how well the insurance marketplaces operate, and whether enough young Americans enroll for coverage.

While Friday’s event at the White House will draw attention to the law’s benefits for women who already have insurance, aides say that increasingly Mr. Obama’s outreach will be to uninsured Americans and those who buy their insurance because they do not get it from employers.

He will especially urge healthy young adults, those up to 35 years old, and minorities — groups in which he has “a lot of cachet,” Mr. Pfeiffer said — to sign up starting Oct. 1 for the new exchanges. Beginning Jan. 1, most Americans must have insurance or pay fines.

Without the participation of that generally healthy young population, insurance premiums for everyone else would increase — threatening support for a law already short of it.
Walter Russell Mead gets to the heart of the matter:
In short, the success of the ACA wholly depends on President Obama’s ability to persuade young people to voluntarily subsidize the old. If young people don’t agree to sign up for expensive plans full of benefits many of them don’t need, the oldsters won’t be able to afford the high cost of their plans.
Yep. Which is why there are fines John Roberts-approved "taxes" involved. Back to Mead:

This is an especially bad deal for younger generations, not least because the rapidly growing costs of health care (which the ACA doesn’t do enough to control) pretty much guarantee that they won’t be able to have the same kind of benefits as today’s middle aged by the time they reach their 50s.

The Democratic plan to make Obamacare work apparently boils down to a hope that the President can successfully abuse the trust that young people have placed in him by convincing them sign them up in large numbers for a bad deal.

Not just apparently.


Bike Bubba said... what we have here is a law built around the idea that young people are so stupid, they'll subsidize the old--who are a lot wealthier than they are--to the tune of 30%.

Good luck with that.

Gino said...

it wont work. his base is made of entitlement recipients.

by nature, these people dont think anything should be paid for by themselves...

R.A. Crankbait said...

I'm still shaking my head over recent events for Sen. Max Baucus. His support and fingerprints were all over PPACA and, lo and behold, his 2014 re-election prospects were suffering for it. So, on a recent Friday, he goes on a high-profile rampage in a Senate hearing, declaring to Darth Sebelius that Obamacare is "a trainwreck" and trying to distance himself. Then, sometime over the ensuing weekend, I'm guessing a "Come to Obama" meeting takes place and the next thing you know the following Monday Baucus has a press conference to announce he is dropping his re-election campaign in order to spend more time with his family - as opposed to spending more time with the fishes, I suppose.

Mr. D said...


'Ol Max got was coming to him politically, but his fat pension will be a nice consolation prize.