July 29, 2015
By Lanhee Chen
Despite the Supreme Court’s recent decision in King v. Burwell and President Obama’s pronouncement that the debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is over, health care reform will be a major topic of discussion in the 2016 presidential campaign. What the 2016 Republican presidential candidates must realize, however, is that since 2012, the politics of health care reform have changed. And these changes have amplified the need for the candidates to propose policies that they would want to replace President Obama’s signature health care law, if elected.
Three key changes are noteworthy. First, core provisions of Obamacare—including the individual mandate, subsidies to help low- and middle-income Americans to afford coverage, and its health insurance exchanges—went into effect in 2014, turning the abstraction of the ACA into a reality for many Americans. These provisions mark significant changes to the health care system that become more entrenched with each passing day.
Second, and relatedly, the fact that the law now has millions of beneficiaries makes it more challenging to repeal in its entirety. A significant number of Americans have benefited either from the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid or through tax credits for the purchase of health insurance on exchanges created by the law. Any change that seeks to take away these benefits without a replacement will meet significant political resistance...
Read full article at RealClearPolitics.com: GOP Candidates Must Offer Obamacare Alternative