Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has teamed up with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. to offer a bill to — in their words — “stabilize individual market premiums.” It comes at a moment when there is a lot of uncertainty around how much marketplace health plans will cost in 2019 — and just a few months before insurance plans will be setting those premiums.
The plan arguably signals Congress is moving away from a stabilization plan that could pass with Democratic votes and toward a more typical, partisan Obamacare agenda from each side.
Congressional Republicans spent the better part of 2017 trying and failing to repeal and replace Obamacare. They have now largely abandoned the project to pursue other goals. Yet in a sense they have succeeded anyway — just not in the manner they expected.
Consider for a moment what a successor to the Affordable Care Act might have looked like if Republicans had somehow managed to both repeal and replace the law last year.
New Kaiser tracking poll results are out today, and Obamacare favorability took yet another jump upward. Overall, Obamacare is continuing its steady march toward widespread acceptance.
Since Obamacare kicked off in 2014, favorability ratings have steadily increased among Democrats (+25 points), independents (+23 points) and even among Republicans (+10 points). Among the entire country, favorability has increased from 34 percent to 54 percent. More than half of that gain has come since mid-2016, when acceptance of Obamacare inflected upward and just kept on going. At the same time, unfavorable opinions have dropped. The net approval rating of Obamacare since 2014 has increased from -16 percent to +12 percent.