In my last post, I noted that Congress was eager to repeal Obamacare, but lacked consensus on a replacement. I noted that Obamacare was designed to cover the sick people and keep premiums affordable through the individual mandate and subsidies. These two provisions of Obamacare can be reversed through legislative mechanisms that avoid filibusters. But, removing those provisions, while leaving in place Obamacare’s prohibition of denial for pre-existing conditions creates an unstable insurance market that could lead to an increase in the number of uninsured people, and an increase in the premiums paid by those that continue to be insured.
Today, the Congressional Budget Office published a report offering some non-partisan quantitative estimates of those outcomes:
The clear implication of these projections is that pursuing the repeal of just the portions of Obamacare that can be repealed unilaterally, while leaving in place the popular prohibition of denial of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions would be a disaster. Hopefully, these projections will help convince Congress to resist the urge to seek quick repeal to appease fervent anti-Obamacare constituents. Hopefully, Congress will take a breath and take the time to build bi-partisan consensus on a more comprehensive and coherent design for our health care insurance system.