Republicans have been predicting (sometimes even gleefully) that Obamacare will end in a death spiral. As it turns out, the election of Donald Trump makes that unhappy ending more likely. But here is the irony: If Obamacare does crash and burn, Trump and the Republicans are likely to get the full blame for any suffering and misery that follows.
President Obama is already preparing the Democratic narrative. Hes on the stump asking voters to save Obamacare from the Republicans. Once the Republicans pass any legislation that is signed into law by President Trump, they will own the dysfunctional health care system the Democrats have left them. If things get worse after that, the GOP will be blamedno matter what they say or do.
And things are likely to get worse. Picture a world in which insurers with large financial losses continue to leave the health insurance exchangesnever to return. In county after county, the individual market is being dominated by a single monopoly insurer and in many places, there is no insurer at all. As networks get narrower, deductibles get higher and premiums soar, the healthy continue to leave the market and the losses continue to mount for the few insurers that are left.