NRSC - Dead End: Fixes for ACA Not a Panacea for Jeanne Shaheen

“The health care plan we are working on in Congress will let people keep their doctor and their insurance plan if they like it, expand coverage options for people that need it, and stabilize costs for families, businesses and our economy.”  - Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Press Release, 8/21/09


Either you keep your promise, or you break your promise. That is the choice facing Jeanne Shaheen. 


Seems like a no brainer, right? But it isn't that simple. Here's why:

  • If Shaheen chooses to break her promise, she loses what little credibility she has left (which doesn't seem to be much). 
  • If Shaheen chooses a legislative fix (like Mary Landrieu's legislation) to try to stop the bleeding, it would have a devastating effect on ObamaCare, creating absolute chaos for millions of Americans, tens of thousands of Granite Staters and the entire American health insurance market.

 It's a no win situation for Jeanne Shaheen – efforts to restore credibility will expose gross incompetence. 


The liberal Talking Points Memo warned last week that  legislation designed to allow people to keep their health care plans would "unwind Obamacare's guarantees of quality coverage and affordable prices, which were the basis of two important -- and popular -- market reforms under Obamacare: community rating (insurers cannot charge sick people more) and guaranteed issue (insurers cannot deny coverage to anyone)." Further, it would, "disrupt the premiums set by insurers because a chunk of their expected customers would no longer be enrolling in the marketplaces."


In other words, if such legislation became law, ObamaCare's exchanges would be destroyed because healthy people would get to keep their current health plan (and thus not enter the exchanges), meaning that those who enter the exchanges are likely to be sicker and more expensive for participating insurers.  This means skyrocketing costs for everyone in year two. It would become so untenable that the law would have to be repealed amid public outcry and pressure.


Jeanne Shaheen is panicked and has no idea how to fix the disaster that she's helped create. Further, it's plainly evident Shaheen is far more concerned with winning her next election than actually doing anything to really fix the problem.   Washington has never looked more broken. It has never looked more incompetent. And it's about to get even worse as panicked Democrats like Jeanne Shaheen look for the political fix to the practical problem that ObamaCare is fundamentally flawed.  Who is to blame? Start with those responsible for this disaster like Jeanne Shaheen.