Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Halbig Decision - be Careful What You Wish For

Just an observation for my Republican friends, be careful what you wish for.

By now everyone has heard about the Halbig decision by the DC Circuit (or three judges from the DC Circuit)that could cripple the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)IF it is appealed to the Supreme Court AND they agree. (It will most likely be appealed to the entire DC Circuit Court first in which case it will most likely be reversed. This is not to say that it won't eventually make it to the Supreme Court because I believe that it will.)

The ruling in Halbig would deny the government from subsidizing insurance for anyone who bought coverage on the federal exchange ( This would create a domino effect that could kill the ACA. While Republicans have been hoping and praying for this, they might want to reconsider.

A recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that ~10.3 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage through the ACA. A year from now, (when the SCOTUS might be making its ruling) that number might be closer to 15 million and the uninsured rate could be closer to 10%.

If Halbig stands, many of those people will lose their subsidy and won't be able to keep their insurance. Why anyone would think these 10,300,000 people are going to be happy about this is beyond me. At that point, Republicans would be expected to present their alternative and that alternative doesn't exist. In short, they would be calling their own bluff.

Our friend Bobby Schilling has always been 100% behind repealing Obamacare with an alternative to be named later. The problem is (and anyone who knows the history of the ACA knows this) that Obamacare IS the Republican alternative. The original was floated by the American Enterprise Institute as an alternative to "Hillary Care". Think about it - Obamacare relies on private insurance companies and a competitive marketplace.

While Republicans won't have an alternative to the ACA, Democrats will - it's called the Public Option. Think "Medicare for all" or even a system like Canada's. In other words, Republicans (like our friend Bobby) might find themselves wishing for the good old days of Obamacare.

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