Monday, March 31, 2014

Juan Williams on ACA

Fox News contributor Juan Williams shares thoughts from health care expert Jonathan Gruber on the Affordable Care Act on The Hill.

The danger to ObamaCare, he says, has nothing to do with the final sign-up numbers. The plan has enrolled enough people, including enough young people, to be sustainable, he said. With more than 6 million already signed up, he insisted that the “risk in the short-term is not substantial.” The problem is that the law is still vulnerable to being crushed by the negative political narrative being created in Washington.

“The risk is that people who oppose the law will put out enough bad facts, find enough troubling anecdotes in aggregate, that they scare the public and a majority of Congress and the White House into making bad political decisions that are detrimental to the law,” he said. He has no problem with last week’s extended deadline and other administrative fixes. In terms of the actual policy, Gruber said, there is not anything to worry about.

The potential fatal threat he sees comprises the 50-plus votes taken by the House of Representatives to repeal the law; and the endless barrage of negative advertising by Republicans and their big-money backers. “Those [House] votes, those advertisements are psychological attacks,” he said. “It creates an air of uncertainty. If people think it is not working, if they think it is not popular, then they are less likely to support the law.” Without the political attacks, Gruber said, the Affordable Care Act will work. “No doubt in my mind that if people left it alone for three years and let it run, it will be highly successful,” he contends, “but that is not the world we live in.”

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