Damn! Did the Prez Just Gut His Own Health Care Law?, Asks Shikha Dalmia


The president ordained yesterday that insurance companies don't after all have to cancel the "junk" policies that he had previously insisted they had no business selling and Americans had no business buying. Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy offers some very good reasons why the president's remedy, meant to honor his "if-you-like-your-plan-you-can-keep-your-plan" promise, might be illegal unless Congress — not Obama's regulators — changes the Affordable Care Act. (Yet Obama has threatened to veto one such law that just passed the House.)

But the more serious problems for Obamacare will occur if the president actually succeeds in restoring these cancelled promises, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in the Washington Examiner. This might well set in motion an uncontrollable adverse selection death spiral that will likely put the law in hospice by this time next year.

She notes:

Obamacare's viability depends on its ability to herd the 15 million or so Americans getting "junk" coverage from the individual market onto the Obamacare exchanges where they'd be forced to pay more for benefits they don't need. This would spread premiums across a bigger population and keep coverage affordable. (At least in theory.)…

But even if the administration fixes the exchange — a big "if"– what incentive will these folks have to sign up if they can keep their existing plans?

Go here to read the whole thing.