Here’s what I said on Tuesday about the GOP proposal to replace Obamacare:
It’ll be contentious. No one will ever —ever — stop talking about it. No one will understand it. Premiums will probably rise. And the entire nation will end up hating it.
So basically just like Obamacare.
Which makes you wonder why we don’t just save ourselves some time and stick with what we’ve got.
I’d wager that will end up being a remarkably accurate assessment of how this ends up. Of course there’s always a chance all the poor people out there will make this easier on the rest of us by just handing in their iPhones so they can afford health insurance. If only we would be so f*cking lucky, right Jason Chaffetz?
I would submit that there’s absolutely no point in trying to untangle this mess right now because what we got early this week probably won’t look anything like what ends up getting passed and that’s assuming anything gets passed at all. Indeed, this is pretty much all you need to know (via Reuters):
The Republican plan unveiled on Tuesday would scrap Obamacare’s requirement that most Americans obtain medical insurance and replace its income-based subsides with a system of fixed tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 to coax people to purchase private insurance on the open market.
The plan faces significant hurdles in Congress. Conservative Republican lawmakers and lobbying groups slammed it for looking too much like the Obamacare program they have been trying to kill for years. Democrats criticized it as rolling back health insurance coverage gains for millions of Americans while benefiting the rich by repealing healthcare-related taxes.
But for the enterprising among you and/or for all the poor people out there who, thanks to the above-mentioned Jason Chaffetz, are now trying to figure out whether to trade in that goddamn iPhone for a WalMart pre-paid, Goldman has a handy table for you and some accompanying color.
Below find excerpts from a note out Wednesday that carries the tongue-in-cheek title “Who Knew It Could Be So Complicated?”…
- House Republicans have released legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) that would reduce spending on health insurance subsidies and repeal most of the taxes used to pay for the program. However, the proposal has already met resistance from conservative lawmakers in the House and Senate, and some centrist Republicans may have concerns. We expect additional changes to be necessary before it can become law.
- The next few days will provide additional visibility on how far the current legislation can move through the legislative process. House Committees will vote tomorrow (March 8) and the full House of Representatives could try to vote as soon as next week. Senate Republican leaders have also indicated their intent to move quickly. However, at this stage it is far from clear that the current proposal has the support to pass.
- While ACA changes themselves could have meaningful macroeconomic effects, in the near term many market participants are focused on the effect that the health debate has on the prospects for tax reform. For procedural reasons, Congress cannot easily move to tax reform before the ACA issue has somehow been resolved. While passage in the near term cannot be ruled out, events this week suggest that the issue might not be resolved until May or possibly later.