... “The part I struggle with is how you undo two years worth of implementation,” said Dr. Glen R. Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “It would leave tremendous uncertainty about what is the direction we’re going in and that uncertainty would obviously affect the patients directly.”
Health insurance companies, which would be freed from some of the already existing regulations limiting their profits, would have to readjust their thinking about how best to compete. While companies would continue to make money by carefully selecting which customers to cover and would adjust their business accordingly, many insurers say the health care market is deeply flawed. “The system doesn’t work,” said Mark T. Bertolini, the chief executive of Aetna. “Something has to be done.”
The law, “while imperfect in a number of ways, was a step forward,” Mr. Bertolini said. ...NYT
The Times goes on to explain that the possibility of an overturn of the health care legislation has already affected the voter's view of a Congress which can hardly be depended upon to come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
“If this law is completely thrown out, a lot of momentum to solve some of these problems is going to be vitiated,” said Helen Darling, the chief executive of the National Business Group on Health, which represents employers that offer health benefits....
... Much of the ability of hospitals to change how they care for patients, even as government programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay them less, was dependent on the tens of millions of new paying customers, said Len M. Nichols, a health economist at George Mason University who supports the law. “Everybody thought it would buy them time to become as efficient as they need to be,” he said....NYT
The possibility that the rest of America -- and not just protesters in cities around the country-- may get seriously angry at the radicals in Congress and on the Court has its upside.
The "radicals" in Congress? Gail Collins calls them "extremists" -- and that's fine with me.
The thing that makes our current politics particularly awful isn’t procedural. It’s that the Republican Party has become over-the-top extreme. You can try to fix that by working from within to groom a more sensible pack of future candidates, or from without by voting against the Republicans’ nominees until they agree to shape up. ...NYT
What we need is to confront the need not just for a political change but a cultural change -- a change in each one of us and the kind of engagement we show in our larger community rather than a turn to a third party to fix things for us. Collins takes on the oddly shady organization called "Americans Elect," a website, a kind of third party, and a group of enthusiasts who don't and shouldn't give us much confidence.
... The whole Americans Elect concept is delusional, in a deeply flattering way: We the people are good and pure, and if only we were allowed to just pick the best person, everything else would fall into place. And, of course, the best person cannot be the choice of one of the parties, since the parties are ... the problem....
...So far, the greatest achievement by Americans Elect seems to be smashing the fantasy that there are all sorts of people out there who would make great presidents if only the parties didn’t stand in the way. The most popular names in the mix are Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman Jr. and Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana whose candidacy was so deeply unsuccessful that he couldn’t even qualify for the debates. ...NYT
And then there's the usual "murk" brought about by large contributions from nameless backers.
The source of the money is a little murky. Some names have been made public. Some haven’t. Byrd* says that’s not a problem because “the candidates don’t know who the donors are and the donors don’t know who the candidate is going to be.”
If the Americans Elect candidate does make a big splash in November, we will have discovered yet another part of the presidential elections process that loopy billionaires could purchase out of their petty cash. Tired of financing right-wing contenders for the Republican nomination? Buy your own ballot line. ...NYT
*The CEO of Americans Elect is Kahlil Byrd, "a former Communications Strategist for Republican and Democratic candidates. He was also a former Communications Director for Deval Patrick for Governor [of Massachusetts]."
Running down the list of some (about a third) of American Elect leadership's affiliations:
CBS and Africa.com
Albertson Art Consultants
Allen Global Holdings
Lakeside Capital Partners
Arno Political Consultants
Institute for Politics, GWU
Williams & Connollly
Former Director of National Intelligence
Blakely Investment Company
Fletcher School, Tufts University
Farmington Asset Management
Strategic Investment Group
No More Mister Nice Blog has something interesting to say about the Supreme Court's possible actions on ACA.
I wouldn't lose too much sleep worrying about the possibility that the Supremes will overturn the whole law when Big Insurance would prefer that only part of it be overturned, or vice versa. I'm sure Big Insurance, and the rest of Big Business, have already communicated their wish list to the movement-conservative bloc on the Court. I find the Times theory more persuasive -- it's one more reason I think the law will be left seriously wounded but not killed. Besides, as I've said, you still want to keep right-wing base voters motivated for November, so the Supremes will want to leave something in place for them to hate.