The Omnibus spending bill on health care policy

Yuval Levin has a very good piece on this, here is one bit:

They’re [the Democrats] no longer offering themselves up as a sacrifice to protect every last bit of the law[Obamacare], as they have done at enormous political cost for the last five years. Now, they’re spending their capital to protect key constituencies (and therefore themselves), even at the cost of allowing the structure of Obamacare to become even more incoherent and unsustainable.

There is a less polemic but still true version of that sentence, if you are so inclined.  Here is another bit:

…They’re thinking past Obamacare, like the Republicans are. Of course, Democrats have a different vision of what comes after Obamacare. Hillary Clinton has started articulating that vision here and there: It’s a move in the direction of the original Hillarycare from 1993, which would add on to elements of Obamacare stricter price controls and more federal micromanagement of the provision of care. (Scott Gottlieb considered what this might look like in National Affairs this summer.)

And this:

The omnibus bill contains a provision, identical to one in last year’s bill, which requires that risk-corridor payments in the Obamacare exchanges be budget neutral.

That will make Obamacare much more difficult to manage.

Furthermore, in the bill Congress restricts federal funding for CRISPR.

Here is a more general piece on the Omnibus.  Overall I would say a lot of gridlock is gone, the Republicans have returned to being bigger spenders, and no one in town — once again — worries about the deficit.  The sequester was a very temporary victory.


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