If Obamacare Dies, Are We Ready?

CIB022715-ObamacareWith Obamacare front and center once again at the Supreme Court, its fate is as doubtful as ever since the infamous case two years ago in which the Supremes upheld the law’s legality.

The result of King v. Burwell in next week’s hearing before the Court has analysts in a frenzy, says Bloomberg Politics‘ Joshua Green. The challenge is to predict what may come of the reported 9.6 million Americans who have already enrolled in coverage under Obamacare and who rely on the potentially unlawful subsidy to afford it.

Stuart Butler, a decades-long Republican health care analyst, is warning that the upending of Obamacare, void of a suitable replacement, could act like a giant rug being yanked out from under millions of Americans with no better alternative for health care coverage.

Butler pointed out in a recent column that the U.S. health care market were its own economy, it would be the sixth largest in the world – larger even than that of United Kingdom. He warns, therefore, that “a market without subsidies will trigger a premium ‘death spiral’ in those states [without exchanges]: With subsidies gone and premiums pushed higher, younger and healthier patients will likely drop coverage.”

The danger, therefore, to Republicans now in control of Congress is how they can continue to advocate for the end of Obamacare and still manage the almost certain fall-out among voters who will feel the pain of lost coverage. Which party they will blame in the 2016 election cycle is the question of the hour.