OK

This whole "bailout" scheme was his idea, which should make some people a little more skeptical about it.
House Republicans can't figure out how to get 218 votes to say that the "insurance company bailout" is something they should ransom for the debt ceiling hostage. So that's history, but Politico says it's still a problem for Democrats. Because everything about Obamacare the GOP fucks up (see CBO report) is the Democrats' problem, apparently.

But just taking that argument at face value, here's what Politico says.

The latest Republican attack on Obamacare is powerful and simple: “no insurer bailouts.”

But never fear, Democrats are ready with a response: “Well, that’s not really what it is. The provision in question is actually called ‘risk corridors,’ which is a mechanism for compensating health insurers in case their actual costs are at least 3 percent higher than their projected costs. But it’s only temporary, until they get better data on who their customers are. And if their costs are lower than they expected, they actually pay the government. And besides … ”

You see the problem.

The last thing Democrats want to do, with a law as complicated and full of moving parts as the Affordable Care Act, is explain what the law actually does.

But it's really not that complicated. The simple answer for Democrats is that this bright idea from the Republicans would raise your insurance premiums. They could also argue that no taxpayer dollars are on the line because the money in the "bailout" fund actually comes from other insurance companies. They could also argue that the Republicans would actually raise the deficit with this repeal, since the CBO has found that this part of the law actually will reduce the deficit by $8 billion. But nobody cares about the deficit, so let's stick with the higher premiums part.

See, if there isn't this cushion built in for the next few years, some insurance companies will end up losing money by taking all comers and having to pay out a lot for the sickest of them. If other insurance companies don't pitch in to help make up those losses, the losing companies will turn to their customers to get that money. That means higher premiums. See? Easy.

And by the way, Republicans are still lost at sea when it comes to the debt ceiling, or really any other real policy issue (see, immigration). So there's that, too.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:26 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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