Pin It
Favorite

Trail Mix 

So what happens if the health care overhaul is overturned?

click to enlarge art17782.jpg

Health Care Fallout

After last week’s Supreme Court arguments over the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature achievement seemed doomed. Noted court watcher Jeffrey Toobin saw it as a train wreck and a plane wreck. Yeah, that bad.

So if it’s overturned, what’s the fallout? Americans have a complicated relationship with the law — opinion polls show irrationality and confusion. People don’t like it in general, but when asked about specifics, they change their minds. For example, a new CBS/New York Times poll finds that only a quarter of the public wants to keep the law as-is, yet 85 percent like preventing insurance companies from denying coverage over pre-existing conditions.

So in the days after the law is hypothetically killed, if people are told their husband’s bout with cancer means finding insurance is impossible (like it used to be), the blowback from that 85 percent could be ugly. This might be where Washington AG and gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna finds himself if the you-know-what hits the fan. McKenna challenged health care reform on behalf of all Washingtonians.

Keeping the Issue Alive

If the health care overhaul is not overturned, Republicans could continue to rail against it (although that’s tough for Mitt Romney, who was for affordable care before he was against it). And isn’t that really what the GOP wants? An election-year bludgeon?

Meanwhile, Obama’s best re-election strategy could emerge from the ruins — to pitch himself as the only man standing in the way of more justices like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

Irony Alert

The long term is tougher to predict. America’s health care system is broken, and the ACA tried to get some solutions into the pipeline. To oppose that with no credible replacement policy is a kind of political nihilism. If repealed, years of ensuing national pain and expense will reveal that short-term political gain trumped the health and wealth of a nation.

Ruling against ACA would box in legislators and, ironically, put the private insurance industry on the endangered species list. Without the mandate, the only legal option left to Congress will be Medicare-for-all. The Supreme Court may, in effect, endorse the kind of big-government solution conservatives hate.

Without reform, future Congresses will find themselves presiding over a nation drowning in health care bills. American businesses will struggle to compete; they may start bailing out of providing insurance. Something will have to give, and Medicare-for-all will start sounding pretty good. Change won’t come in a year, or even a decade, but if ACA is overturned, single-payer will come.

Don’t bet on the death of Obamacare.

— TED S. McGREGOR JR, @INLANDERTMX

  • Pin It

Speaking of...

Latest in Comment

  • America's Greatest Resource
  • America's Greatest Resource

    In a country of wonderful — and destructive — contradictions, we must listen to each other
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • On the Street
  • On the Street

    Have you ever been called a "special snowflake"?
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Independence of Mind
  • Independence of Mind

    The dance around the Neil Gorsuch nomination underlines the stakes of getting a peek inside his head
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Black Lunch Table: Wikipedia Editathon

Black Lunch Table: Wikipedia Editathon @ Terrain

Tue., Feb. 21, 6-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Most Commented On

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • America's Largest Hate Group
  • America's Largest Hate Group

    Republicans are lying to people so they can capitalize on fear and hatred
    • Dec 3, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation