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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

November 15, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Vote: Obamacare’s future

It has been a messy rollout for the Affordable Care Act, the “market-based” program originally devised by the conservative Heritage Foundation (which has now disowned it) and enacted in Massachusetts by the Republican Party’s last presidential nominee.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post wrote this morning that “Obamacare’s success would’ve affirmed the theories underlying Obama’s presidency — theories that could then be picked up by future presidents. Instead, Obamacare is systematically blowing apart the very premises it’s based on.” He continued:

The reliance on Republican policy proposals did nothing to generate Republican support. Instead of showing the falseness of partisan divisions, Obamacare has proven how deeply entrenched they truly are. Far from introducing innovation and efficiency into the system, the decision to build a complex, 50-state public-private hybrid has introduced towering complexity into the project, and seems, potentially, to be beyond the government’s capacity to do well.

On the other hand, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones urged Democrats not to panic. “This is a bleak moment for Obama, but it’s not his Iraq or even his Katrina.” Still, the president’s reliance on cooperation from the giant insurance companies, trying to work within an extremely complex health-care sector, a government undermined by the GOP House and his own administration’s incompetence has made a mess. The presidential “fix,” although it might not completely undermine ACA, has provoked a backlash, starting in Washington state.

Doing nothing only perpetuates the hugely costly system now in place and leaves tens of millions uninsured.

What’s the final result?

Read on for some of the most interesting business and economic stories of the past week…and the haiku.

This Week’s Links:

The 777X: ‘Under my thumb’ | Timothy Egan/NYT

Federal student loans pass $1 trillion, delinquencies reach record | Zero Hedge

China’s engineers are innovating like crazy — for foreign companies | Quartz

The Justice Department’s willful blindness to the willful blindness of CEOs | New Economic Perspectives

The anatomy of health care in the United States | The Incidental Economist

Shale’s effect on oil supply forecast to be brief | NY Times

Bill Gates: Here’s my plan to improve our world — and how you can help | Wired

Explainer: How does the Fed stimulate the economy | Money Watch

Rethinking the rise of inequality | Economist’s View


Today’s Econ Haiku:

‘Market based’ health care

Meets enfeebled government

A sick compromise



Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Affordable Care Act


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