Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Potential Collapse of Obamacare Three-Legged Stool

If Obamacare Does Not Meet Deadlines,  Is It Dead?
It’s no coincidence we call them deadlines.

It has taken a week to really grasp the implications, but July 3 is looking like the day that Obamacare died.

RealClearPolitics/Daily Debate, July 10, 2013

Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Boswell, Life of Johnson

As all of us, who went to college, took tests, and wrote term papers, know,  a deadline wonderfully concentrates the mind.  Deadlines often resulted in “all-nighters” to avoid academic death.  

The same holds for political deadlines. If you are not prepared to meet them, you may end up politically dead.  It is now 3 years since Obamacare passed,  and deadlines  are upon its supporters. 
Last Friday,  July 3,  the administration sought to delay two of these deadlines  from January 2014 to January 2015,  by:
One,  delaying the employer mandate requiring businesses with 50 or more employees .
Two, delaying the requirement that those signing up for the exchanges,  scheduling to start October 1, 2013, verify that they qualified for federal subsidies when signing up for the exchanges.
Republicans immediately jumped on the delay announcements.   They claimed, among other things, that  the Employer Mandate and the Individual Mandate were interrelated,  that you could not  give business a delay in the law without giving  the same delay  for individuals,   that not verifying or auditing those trying to qualy for subsidies was a recipe for “massive fraud and abuse,”  that arbitrarily  changing the law just before the October  2013 deadline  was “unconstitutional.”   
John  Boehner, the Republican leader in the House,  said delaying the Employer Mandate was like kicking out one leg of the “rickety old stool, “ aka Obamacare,  called for kicking out the other leg, the Individual Mandate,  thereby causing the stool to collapse.
The GOP wants Obamacare  to collapse.  The Dems want to prop it  up the exchanges, a critical third leg of the stool, so Obamacare will live another day.  
These two wishes, one a death wish, the other a wish to live, have ignited ad wars.   
One, Americans for Prosperity,  backed by $1 billion from the Koch Brothers,  seeks to kill Obamacare, by minimizing participation in the exchanges. 
Two, Organizing for Action (OFA),  an Obama-affiliated non-profit,  seeks to explain the law’s benefits, so the uninsured and underinsured, will sign up in the millions required  make it viable.  To sell the law,  OFA has accumulated a $1 billion nest egg, and is adding staffers and formulating its PR strategy  to meet he October deadline.  

Meanwhile  the body blows to Obamacare keep piling up,  and the U.S, continues to struggle to get its act together to meet its self-imposed deadline .

Tweet: Obama  administration is struggling to meet Oct deadline to prepare for health exchanges  but is handicapped by employer mandate delay.

No comments: