HOT BLAST: The Obamacare stakes
Nov 19, 2013 | 1121 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about his signature health care law last week at the White House. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about his signature health care law last week at the White House. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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Paul Waldman offers advice to those panicked Democrats discussing scrapping Obamacare.

If you're going to start speculating about repeal, you have to confront what's going to happen six weeks from now, on January 1. Let's have a little reminder:

  • Millions of people will begin getting coverage through Medicaid. Repeal would mean kicking these people off their insurance.
  • Millions of people will begin getting subsidies to pay for private insurance. Repeal would mean taking away their subsidies, making it unaffordable for them to get insurance.
  • Denials for pre-existing conditions will be officially over. Repeal would mean that once again, insurers could deny people coverage if they've ever been sick.
  • Annual limits on coverage will be outlawed. Repeal would mean that people will once again start being forced to pay huge medical bills, in many cases forcing them into bankruptcy, if they have a serious illness or accident.
All of the above is accurate, which is the best explanation for why Republicans have persisted in their all-out, years-long resistance of the Affordable Care Act. Once these attractive provisions kick in at the start of 2014 (and assuming they can despite the many blunders of the Obama administration), repeal of policies that the vast majority of American desire will be all but impossible. 
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