Right-Wing Media Back GOP's Harmful ACA Delay Proposal

Right-wing media figures celebrated the House Republicans' plan to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act by a year, ignoring the consequences that the move would have on the uninsured.

House Republicans Vote To Delay Implementation

USA Today: GOP “Moved The Nation Closer To A Government Shutdown” By Delaying ACA Implementation. After unsuccessfully attempting to defund the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to delay implementation of the law by a year:

Congress moved the nation closer to a government shutdown on Tuesday as House Republicans voted early Sunday 231-192 to advance a stopgap spending measure to delay implementation of President Obama's health care law for one year.


But the House GOP amendments affecting the Affordable Care Act face certain defeat in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will not support any bill that dismantles the law. Obama also said he would veto any such bill in the unlikely event it reaches his desk. [USA Today, 9/28/13]

Right-Wing Media Praise ACA Delay

Kathleen Parker: Delay Is “Best For The Country.” In a Washington Post column, Kathleen Parker called the proposal to delay implementation an alternative that is “perhaps best for the country and hardest for Obama”:

There is one alternative that is both perhaps best for the country and hardest for Obama. He could relent not to Republicans but to the greater good. He could delay full implementation past the 2014 elections, which would accomplish two things: One, he could iron out the wrinkles that are now apparent. Two, Democrats would get to slide through another election cycle without the most visibly painful part of Obamacare -- the individual mandate.

What, really, does Obama have to lose? Only face, the pain of which passes. What he would gain is the legacy that escapes so many these days -- proof that he is a leader who does the right thing, even if it hurts his pride just a little. [The Washington Post, 9/27/13]

Fox's MacCallum: “Why Not Delay It ... What's The Big Rush?” On America's Newsroom, Fox News contributor Tony Sayegh praised the delay effort, claiming “the plan is totally flawed, and that's why a big argument is there to be made for delaying it.” Co-host Martha MacCallum agreed, asking, “Why not delay it a little bit until you feel more comfortable, until you've gotten the word out to more people, until you feel like it's going to be smoother? What's the big rush?” [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 9/30/13]

RedState Applauds GOP For “Passage Of A CR That Delays The Entirety Of The Entirely Un-Affordable ACA.” A September 29 RedState post applauded Republicans for voting to delay implementation of the ACA:

We applauded last week's House passage of a continuing budget resolution that de-funded Obamacare and the holding of the senate floor by Ted Cruz for 21 hours in of support it. De-funding alone would not have affected the imposition of mandates that President Obama hadn't delayed, but would have saved taxpayer money. Bravo. We also support last night's House passage of a CR that delays the entirety of the entirely-un-affordable ACA and eliminates the medical device tax as well as the alternative bill guaranteeing that members of armed forces would not be denied their salaries should the Democrats shut down the government. [RedState, 9/29/13]

Delay Would Have “Severe Adverse Consequences” On Coverage, Premiums

CBPP: “A One-Year Delay Would Be A Mortal Blow To Health Reform.” In a post responding to Parker's column, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities pointed out that the arguments to delay the ACA by a year are “buttressed by misleading and inaccurate arguments and the selective use or omission of relevant data”:

A one-year delay in health reform's individual mandate would have serious adverse consequences. Such a delay, which Parker joins health reform's opponents in calling for, would add millions to the ranks of the uninsured and raise health insurance premiums. CBO estimates that it would increase the number of Americans who are uninsured by about 11 million in 2014, relative to current law, and would reduce health reform's coverage gains in 2014 by nearly 85 percent. CBO also finds that it would lead to higher insurance premiums in the individual market. And it would create severe problems for the health insurance exchanges just as the open enrollment season is about to begin; insurance companies have said that the prices at which they have pledged to offer coverage through the exchanges would have to be withdrawn -- and new, higher prices imposed instead -- if the individual mandate is delayed. [CBPP, 9/28/13]

Wash. Post: If ACA Is Delayed, “11 Million Fewer People Would Gain Coverage Next Year.” In a post on The Washington Post's WonkBlog, Sarah Kliff pointed out that the GOP's delay proposal “would cause major political and substantive headaches for the law while sharply reducing the number of people it covers”:

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, without an individual mandate, 11 million fewer people would gain coverage next year.

That would happen for two reasons. First, fewer people would buy health insurance coverage without a federal law requiring them to do so. Second, the people who signed up would likely be sicker people, who really thought they would use the coverage. That would cause premiums to spike, making the market a tougher sell for healthy people. [The Washington Post, 9/24/13]