Congressional Democrats seem worried that the Totally Settled Law of the Land™ is going to go Tango Uniform in the middle of an election year — but they know just the right place to put on a Band-Aid.
If, that is, Republicans will help them:
Recent reports that ObamaCare-participating insurers are suffering losses has led to a renewed focus on this risk-corridor program. Insurers are complaining that their enrollees are sicker than they (could have) predicted, in part because many enrollees appear to be gaming the system by waiting until they are sick to buy coverage and dropping coverage as soon as they no longer need medical services. UnitedHealthcare has threatened to quit ObamaCare in 2017. Some ObamaCare supporters complain the government could be mitigating the carriers’ losses if not for the limits Congress and President Obama imposed on the risk-corridor program.
Which brings us back to the rumors. TaxAnalysts reports on the tax-extenders bill:
The plan under consideration would also delay the medical device tax in exchange for additional funding for ACA risk corridors, which is a program that allows federal payments to insurers to offset high losses in the initial years of the ACA.
The scuttlebut is that this is merely what congressional Democrats are requesting.
But if Democrats are indeed asking for help in bailing out ObamaCare-participating insurers, it would be an implicit admission that the law is failing and unsustainable. They would have to be pretty fearful of the law’s future to invite the backlash that would result just from their signaling that they acknowledge ObamaCare is not faring well.
That Means It’s Working™
I’m going to assume that Republicans won’t take the bait, and let ObamaCare fail on its own lack of merit — but I’ve been wrong before.