After diving into the latest Congressional Budget Office projections for Obamacare, Jed Graham predicts an ominous future for the exchanges set up by the law:
CBO projections now not only imply that the subsidized exchange pool will shrink more precipitously, but the average benefit will rise 5.7% a year — faster than the 5% seen last August. This combination of fewer beneficiaries and faster benefit growth implies that low-income and older beneficiaries will make up an increasing share of the insurance pool. ObamaCare subsidies rise with age and decline as incomes rise; falling to zero for households who earn more than 400% of the poverty level. …
CBO’s new forecasts suggest more healthy people will opt not to pay an ever-growing chunk of their income, when they can pay a smaller fine and still get the same coverage at a fixed price when they need it, perhaps with a several months delay. More people who skip coverage will be exempt from the mandate because minimum coverage exceeds the law’s affordability threshold, the CBO noted.
Justin Green sees an easy-to-miss opportunity for Republicans:
Attention Eisenhower conservatives: this might just be your moment to offer reforms to fix ObamaCare. Just maybe. Instead, we’ve got Marco Rubio joining Ted Cruz’s effort to defund ObamaCare. Can such a push work?
Weigel unpacks the reasoning behind what he calls an “empty threat”:
Rubio’s ploy is easy to understand. He’s trying to push through an immigration reform bill that’s anathema to Republicans. His most famous co-sponsors, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, spent yesterday attacking Rand Paul for a filibuster that the base embraced immediately. So he needs to get behind the occasional stunt.
Previous Dish on Holt-Eakin and Roy’s suggestions for improving Obamacare here.