Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Obamacare's Insurance Exchanges Are Self-Destructing––and That is Why Obamacare Needs to Be Fixed in 2017

Obamacare was self-destructing the day before Donald Trump was elected, and the Republican victory, with their talk of "repeal and replace," has only accelerated things.

Aetna's CEO recently said that the Obamacare insurance exchanges are in a "death spiral."

Cynthia Cox, of the "non-partisan" Kaiser Family Foundation responded that the insurance exchanges "are not really in a death spiral yet." She would know more than the Aetna CEO whose company lost $450 million in the Obamacare individual market last year.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rethink 'repeal and replace'

This is an op-ed that I authored in USA Today––two years ago.

Wouldn't change a word of it:

Rethink 'repeal and replace': Column
Robert Laszewski
7:29 PM ET January 14, 2015

Obey health care customers, not political orthodoxy,  when proposing Obamacare fixes

The Republicans seem determined to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. They simply cannot bring themselves to consider fixing what they have come to revile.

Being against the president's namesake legislation has been a big winner in at least two out of the past three elections. But now that Republicans are in charge of the Congress, just attacking Obamacare won't work. They have to put something on the table.

However, they need to come up with something better. An effort to repeal and replace Obamacare would be a huge political mistake. There is no issue that presents a worse political minefield than health care. Each and every potential reform means somebody will be losing something and will be very motivated to stop it.

See the remainder of the op-ed here. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Reports of the Demise of Obamacare Repeal and Replace Are Greatly Exaggerated

Many recent press reports have centered around the notion that Republicans are stuck in the mud trying to get their repeal and replace promises moving.

That line appeared to be reinforced over the weekend when President Trump said, in a pre-Super Bowl interview, that the process could draw out into next year. My sense is that what Trump was talking about was the fact that the whole process, that includes implementing the replacement, could take well past 2017. Trump, never one for getting the details right, was taken literally by the press looking to write stories about how the whole process was foundering.

Speaker Paul Ryan quickly countered in his press briefing that Republicans will legislate a repeal and replace of Obamacare this year.

As I have reported to you a number of times, that process, especially the replace part, will be very difficult to achieve given the need to have at least eight Democrats onside with a complete replace bill.

But, I can also tell you that the repeal part is still on track to occur this spring, as I have been reporting for some time, likely in March.
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