... at least if the next President is a Democrat.
It was nice to hear the Prez make the moral case for providing health care to all, in addition to the prudential and economic cases. It would also be nice if health care were available to all -- but the ACA is step in that direction.
The health policy wonks are chattering about a study of a naturally occurring experiment: Oregon lacked the funds to extend Medicaid to an entire group that would have been eligible, so it assigned the small number of available slots by lottery. Health economists thus could study the difference in health outcomes between the winners and the much larger population of losers. Guess what? The winners were not (over a short period) any healthier now that they could see doctors. But they were happier and more financially secure. Well duh ...
Ezra Klein points out the limits of this study clearly:
And there's another potential benefit from Obamacare's survival that I've written about here -- and about which I have not found much research. Before the ACA passed, a student of health economics who has made it his business to understand these things assured me that having health insurance was close to a complete predictor of being registered to vote. He didn't know why, but he'd seen the figures.
Well, millions more citizens now have and will have insurance. Might this not lead to increased voter registration? Certainly most people who can manage to sign up for a policy online are demonstrating the contemporary skills that might suggest they can navigate the various registration mazes set up by the states. Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), the exchanges should be pointing their users toward whatever state facilities exist for registration. Just maybe, they'll use them.
Nobody could object to that ... except possibly Republicans who can't compete if everyone is included.