Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision was a huge victory for Obama, which, I believe, will enhance, though not guarantee, his chances for reelection. This assertion will obviously be debated extensively. But, despite all of their venom and “energy” conservatives will not repeal the Affordable Care Act, even if they do win a clean sweep in the 2012 election. Here are the three reasons why.
First, it is very hard to take benefits away from people once they have them. Health coverage for those with preexisting conditions, allowing older children to stay on parents’ health plans, and expanded drug benefits for seniors are just the most obvious of these benefits. Inevitably, groups will emerge that say, “Go ahead and repeal the law, just don’t repeal the part that applies to me.”
Second, Insurers will fight tooth and nail to preserve the individual mandate. Their argument is well worn. “We can’t provide insurance to those with preexisting conditions, and other benefits, unless everyone participates.”
Finally, Governor Romney is an unreliable opponent of the law. Though he is screaming against it now, the individual mandate was his contribution to begin with. His track record of changing positions on just about everything belies his vehemence against the law. If elected, Romney may support legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, “on day one!” However, without a viable alternative, his opposition is likely to fade and his position will twist and turn dramatically.