[FoRK] The Most Important Article You'll Read Today About The Democratic Party.

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at jarbox.org
Wed Dec 16 22:26:53 PST 2015

> On Dec 16, 2015, at 9:01 PM, dan at geer.org wrote:
> "Stephen D. Williams" writes:
>> What part of that do you think is bad and due to Obamacare?  How
>> does it negate the overall success and benefits?
> No matter who gets elected, in 2017 Obamacare will require major
> mods.  Exchanges are losing money because Obamacare is yet another
> a redistribution scheme -- this time from the healthy, especially
> the young healthy, to the unhealthy, and the healthy, especially
> the young healthy, aren't signing up in anything like the required
> numbers.  Therefore, for Obamacare to not itself go bankrupt the
> penalty (read tax, per SCOTUS) will have to go way up to regain
> solvency for the Exchanges.  Labor will have to accept the Cadillac
> tax, which will be a bitter pill of double-cross. 

I attended a private Democrat healthcare policy function a few weeks ago and they raised the above subjects as the two biggest threats to Obamacare currently, albeit with a different spin.

Apparently it is well-known in Washington DC that the system of subsidies in Obamacare is completely insolvent, approaching $100B/year in the red and getting worse. This is a number too large to paper over with administrative action, the train wreck is coming very soon, and no one expects Congress to authorize vast new taxes and subsidies to make up the difference. To the concern of the Democrats, no matter how it plays out it will generate  highly visible adverse consequences. They really weren’t sure what to do about this problem.

On the Cadillac tax, it was viewed as a strong possibility that Democrats will cave to the unions. If this happens it will compound the above revenue shortfall problem since the cost models presented to the public assume the Cadillac tax, albeit a fraction of the financial impact of the first problem. However, this was viewed more as an internal Party discipline issue; if they cave on this, what else will they cave on that undermines their healthcare policy.

In any case, it did not fill me with confidence.

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