Jonathan Gruber sums up the wages of partial repeal (be it legislative or judicial) of the Affordable Care Act:
Removing the Affordable Care Act’s mandate would eviscerate the law’s coverage gains and greatly raise premiums. And going further by only keeping the market reforms and the small business tax credit would virtually wipe out those coverage gains and cause an enormous premium spike.
Oh, and it would totally destroy the existing insurance company-based system of coverage within a very few years. They’d be the first ones screaming for some replacement for the mandate; they’d have to be, because without it, and in the continued presence of the rest of the reforms, they’d be out of business.
But, by all means, GOP: herald in the era of single payer, finally a true government takeover of healthcare funding in this country by launching relentless attack on the less popular but absolutely critical parts of the package. Said it before, will likely say it again: bad policy is absolute catnip to the GOP and their Tea Klan enablers. They cannot resist it. Forget testing proposed legislation; just see if the GOP/Tea Klan is for it. If so: it is at best a singularly bad and more likely an utterly catastrophic policy.
With that useful razor in hand, it’s easy to see that with a policy outcome as catastrophic (to the insurers) as removing the mandate and but also leaving the popular stuff like the community rating, no lifetime limits, and etc… in there, the GOP and Tea Klan are and will forever be like moths to the flame until such time as they see their particular foolishness accomplished. And before we know it, President Palin will be signing the new American Homeland Patriotic Healthfulness Imbuement and Embiggening Flag Act of 2013, handed to her by a slothful yet resolutely responsive GOP rubber-stamp of a Congress.