Obamacare glitches show that the program will collapse, some tea partyers say. So the better strategy in the government shutdown gambit is to push Obama on tax and entitlement reform.
The problems with the main "Obamacare" website – Healthcare.gov – appear to be more than just glitches.
The website on which millions of Americans are expected to sign up for health insurance in the next two months needs more than increased server capacity; it needs changes to its entire architecture, according to news reports.
And perhaps even more ominously for the Obama administration, some consumers are discovering that their premiums are going to skyrocket, and they are threatening just to pay the penalty and “self-insure.” Young adults, too, are pushing back on the requirement to buy insurance. If enough healthy people don’t buy into the new system, leaving insurance companies with risk weighted toward unhealthy people who cannot be denied coverage, no matter the cost, the system will collapse.
As those two scenarios (flawed website, unhappy consumers) have become clearer, some House Republicans have concluded that trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is no longer the best path to ending the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. Instead, they would be fine with changes to the tax code and entitlement reforms. And therein lies the path to a deal with President Obama.
The ACA “will collapse under its own weight, especially when the young people – who are going to be under the individual mandate – start screaming at what they’re having to pay for,” Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) of Texas tells Bloomberg News.
Congressman Farenthold and two other tea-party-backed lawmakers say they would back a deal to end the shutdown and lift the debt ceiling if it included “major revisions to US tax law, significant changes to Medicare and Social Security, and other policy shifts,” Bloomberg reports.