Sunday, April 11, 2010

Will ObamaCare Be Reformed to Death?

by Mario Rizzo

As long as Obama is president, it is unlikely that the recently-passed healthcare law will be explicitly repealed. However, it is quite possible that if certain constituent parts of the law begin to fail a radical transformation could take place.
The longer-term Achilles’ heel of the law is the health insurance mandate. Following closely in terms of vulnerability, but a more short-run concern,  is the projected Medicare savings. 
Each of these can and will likely be picked apart.  

First, without mandating the purchase of health insurance by every person in the US, the much-touted prohibition against excluding pre-existing conditions from insurance coverage will not work. Individuals would just wait until they get sick to buy insurance. The whole insurance system would collapse when the complete pre-existing conditions reform comes into being. 

It is possible, though not likely, that the courts will hold that Congress has no authority to mandate the purchase of officially-sanctioned health insurance. Let that pass for now. 

Will the fines already included in the law be adequate to induce purchase of insurance by young, healthy individuals? There is reasonable doubt that they are. If they are not, Obama will have to come to Congress to raise the fines.

Read the rest here.

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