It’s not as much fun to write about as a broken website, but Healthcare.gov is humming along this year. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that 6.4 million are now enrolled through the federally-run exchanges, and that number doesn’t include those enrolled in the 13 states that run their own exchanges. HHS appears on track to meet its goal of 9 million by mid-February.
Meanwhile, the decades-long rise of the cost of health insurance premiums appears to have been arrested, with premiums flat since the Affordable Care Act was passed.
I wrote one year ago, in the midst of the initial Healthcare.gov debacle, that “Obamacare’s Troubles Will Be Good For Liberalism”: “Panic today will be defused and forgotten tomorrow. We will not only be pleased with the final result, but we will also be better conditioned to tolerate a degree of initial imperfection, knowing that our government has the capacity to work through it.”
Instead of our government getting flabby while sitting on the couch, as it had been for years, now it’s active. Which means not only making some mistakes, but working through them and getting smarter and stronger in the process.
Obamacare’s momentum will make it extremely dangerous for the Supreme Court to try to gut it next year. Striking down essential subsidies on a trumped-up technicality will produce a massive backlash. The millions suffering stolen subsidies will be a live grenade tossed in the lap of the Republican Congress, which would have the means to fix the Court’s ruling and will reap the consequences when they don’t.
It’s one thing to oppose a program. It’s another to deliberately break a program that’s working.