Thursday, June 21, 2012

ACA Update

The Supremes didn't get to the ACA case today. It'll either happen Monday or later next week.

Meanwhile, a couple of links putting the decision in context. Jonathan Chait has a good rundown on what might happen, and how it would matter substantively. And Sarah Kliff has an overlapping, also good, item, focused especially on how likely a "death spiral" would be.

I wouldn't, by the way, entirely ignore the possibility of a legislative fix, presumably after the election (and presumably only if Barack Obama wins). If the mandate is stripped but everything else remains, then -- depending on exactly what the court does -- the general consensus is that it wouldn't be all that hard to substitute something else, but Republicans are extremely unlikely to allow any such thing. That makes sense, but remember that insurance companies and other interests really don't want a collapsed insurance market.

I know it seems impossible right now that Republicans could start acting like a normal party and attempting to win specific policy gains for its party-aligned or party-friendly interest groups instead of just automatically opposing everything that the Democrats support, but you never know. After all Republican Congresses during Bill Clinton's second term increased the minimum wage and passed a new program bringing health insurance to children. Granted, they also impeached him, but the point is they didn't (always) let pointless partisan destructiveness get in the way of doing some legislating.


  1. I think it'll depend on the context. They also passed a massive stimulus directly after Nov 2010 in trade for an extension of the Bush tax cuts. Nobody ever talks about the second stimulus.

    They can only do the right thing if they are sure it won't be reported.

  2. Plus there's always the possibility the Democrats will retain the Senate and do away with the filibuster abuse that requires 60 votes for everything which would then allow them to replace the mandate with an equivalent policy (and add a public option etc. etc.). (Note that I didn't say it was a very likely possibility.)

  3. Will that be when the pretty unicorns come?


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