Post-Election Predictions for ObamaCare

(This article was adapted from a previous article published in Forbes Nov. 3, 2010)

The key question for Republican leaders after Tuesday's election results is what can they do now to turn their opposition to ObamaCare into governing reality.

Hill Republicans should challenge the next Congressional Budget Office director to re-examine several of CBO's previous budgetary assumptions (particularly involving whether many employers will drop private coverage.) Smarter incentives to reward responsible behavior and better-targeted protections of the most vulnerable portions of the population are essential pillars of more vigorously competitive health insurance markets. Republicans should replace unpopular insurance coverage mandates with a pledge of protection against coverage exclusions for pre-existing health conditions that is limited to those who remain continuously insured over time. This approach needs to be bolstered with the backstop of a high-risk pool safety net that is subsidized sufficiently (though not lavishly) by taxpayers in an income-sensitive manner. Consumers failing to find coverage on the terms they want or can afford from traditional sources should be able to turn to information-heavy/regulation-light health exchanges that are organized by states in a more competitive, choice-expanding manner than ObamaCare would allow. Opening up sale and purchase of health insurance across state lines also would lower the regulation-added costs of health insurance to some extent (probably about ten to fifteen percent on average), as long as such competition among various state brands of regulation is driven by consumer choice and provides sufficient safeguards.

Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI.

Photo Credit: Tom Grill/Corbis

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About the Author

 

Thomas P.
Miller
  • Thomas Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). He studies health care policy and regulation. A former trial attorney, journalist, and sports broadcaster, Mr. Miller is the co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong For America (HarperCollins 2011) and heads AEI's "Beyond Repeal & Replace" health reform project. He has testified before Congress on issues including the uninsured, health care costs, Medicare prescription drug benefits, health insurance tax credits, genetic information, Social Security, and federal reinsurance of catastrophic events. While at the JEC, he organized a number of hearings that focused on reforms in private health care markets, such as information transparency and consumer-driven health care.
  • Phone: 202-862-5886
    Email: tmiller@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 202-862-5826
    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org

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