In the next ten years, as many as half of all Americans will have used Obamacare subsidies, says Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council.
Speaking at a gathering in Washington on Thursday, Sperling said, “The tax credits will help more and more people over time.” He pointed to a study he co-authored showing “that over a decade, probably half of Americans would have, at some point, used the tax credit. So, you know, one thing about it in our country is, there are certain things that people may initially think are for other people, but they find over time, they can be very helpful for them and their family as well.”
Sperling also predicted that Republicans calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act will end shortly:
“I believe, by the time we come to 2015, serious — the era of threatening to repeal — completely repeal — the Affordable Care Act will be over for serious people. And the reason why is that, at a certain point, you can’t beat something with nothing.”
He pointed to the law’s provisions on pre-existing conditions, health coverage for women and children being allowed to stay on their parents’ plans through age 26.
“So I think when you have these — you know, over a hundred million people getting the protection of pre-existing conditions — I think, when you have people under 26 on their parents’ coverage, when people are seeing the stories of people who, you know, unexpectedly were diagnosed with cancer who are able to get affordable treatment who wouldn’t have been able to — I think simply saying, we’re going to repeal it is going to be less and less tenable.”
Sperling described President Obama’s unilateral changes to the law as “transition changes.”
“Now, a lot of the criticisms of the Affordable Care Act has been that, while it does all this good for tens and tens of millions of people, there is occasional disruption somewhere. So the administration tries to listen to that and then make reasonable transition changes. That’s what you would do in any type of major reform that’s positive for your country. There would be transition challenges and you try to smooth them out as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean that it’s flawed. That just means that it’s significant and affects a lot of people.”