Friday, October 30, 2015

Not Gonna Happen

Put this one down as a good idea that will just not happen.

We can put aside the Republican's fanatical hatred of the ACA, and their general opposition to anything that makes it easier to register people to vote, not to mention the fact that the proposal raises serious federalism issues just as the Supreme Court is leaning further into federalism, On their own, all three of those things are probably enough to doom the proposal. But on top of that, there's the fact that the federal exchanges are only used in states run by people who are against the health law enough to refuse to set up their own state-run exchanges. Why would the GOP want to support a voter registration drive that would give political influence to the very people who benefit from the law that they oppose?

Until the ACA stops being a partisan issue, if and when the Republicans at least reach the kind of tepidly acceptance that some have reached when it comes to Social Security, and if and when the Republicans decide that getting people to vote is an inherent good and stop viewing it as a step towards their electoral doom because they don't believe they can win an election if everyone votes, and if and when the Supreme Court steps back from its neo-Lochnerism, only then can I imagine a voter registration function being added to the health insurance exchange. I don't think any of those things will happen at any time in the near or medium term.

Not that we can't talk about the idea, maybe that discussion itself can do some good by highlighting the Republican's cynical political calculations. But let's be realistic about its chances of success.