From Politico: "
Prepare for the Obamacare cliff.
Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump’s transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.
They’re crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance. The idea is to satisfy conservative critics who want President Barack Obama’s signature initiative gone now, but reassure Americans that Republicans won’t upend the entire health care system without a viable alternative that preserves the law’s popular provisions.
Now this might sound vaguely familiar to many of you. "Didn't we do this before with something..."
Yes, the government played this same game with "the Sequester".
To get a budget passed one year, earlier in the Obama Administration's second term, Republicans and Democrats signed up for "the sequester". That held that funds would stay even and not increase either for Defense or Discretionary Spending unless it was overturned.
It was like a game of chicken, where everyone assumed that Republicans would want to increase Defense Spending and Democrats would want to increase Social Spending and a real budget would come about. Four years later, we are still in the Sequester.
So, what does this portend for the Affordable Care Act. That it will collapse after 3 years. Which is, not surprisingly, after the midterm elections of 2018. You see, in 2018 more Democrat Senate Seats are at risk. So if they can look like the "repealed Obamacare" without any problems in 2018, votes will break their way.
That means, of course, that 2019 / 2020 will be a catastrophe, but long term planning isn't their strong suit (obviously).