The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

December 18, 2013

Five myths about the future of Obamacare

(Continued)

2. New policies create a new politics.

It is certainly true that policies can become durable by building supportive clienteles. MIT political scientist Andrea Campbell has shown how Social Security transformed senior citizens into the most active participatory age group in American politics. As we argue in our recent essay in Perspectives on Politics, however, new programs do not create a new politics automatically. To generate a clientele that actively defends its benefits, programs must not only deliver resources, they must change the way recipient groups perceive their social identities and their relationship to the program. If voters don't see a program as helping them, it is less likely they will storm the barricades when opponents try to take it away. It is remains unclear just how much of a clientele the ACA will produce. The ACA is a far more redistributive reform than many other social programs. Some Americans will be losers. Moreover, as political scientist Jonathan Oberlander points out, "unlike Medicare and Social Security, Obamacare does not have a well-defined population of beneficiaries, and its benefits are diffuse." The ACA "treats different groups of Americans in different ways and different times," making it harder to mobilize public support. The ACA can build a constituency, but it may do so less effectively than the most durable entitlement programs.

3. "Deck stacking" can stop policies from being unraveled.

A major threat to a policy is that the coalition that enacted it may be replaced by a future coalition that opposes it. One solution is to "stack the deck" by creating institutions that make it harder to damage the program in the future. Vanderbilt's David Lewis has shown that policymakers can make legislation more durable by giving independent commissions control over policy implementation. Yet in the fragmented American political system, in which lobbyists can nearly always find a friendly institutional venue, there are limits to deck stacking. The ACA, for example, created the Independent Payment Advisory Board to require the secretary of Health and Human Services to implement its recommendations unless Congress passes an alternative plan to reduce Medicare costs. Yet the IPAB has not yet been launched due to opposition from industry groups and many members of Congress.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Fairfield abuse trial begins Monday FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield man will be in court in Jefferson County on charges of third degree sexual abuse. He could spend as much as 10 years behind bars if convicted. Damian Blaise is accused of abuse in which the victim was 12 or 13 years old. He wa

    August 1, 2014

  • Iowa Democrats exploring ways to expand caucus WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in Iowa are devising ways to expand access to their state's leadoff presidential caucuses, addressing concerns raised by Hillary Rodham Clinton following her disappointing finish in 2008. Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Sco

    August 1, 2014

  • Red_Rock_artist_rendering_A_.jpg Construction closes Red Rock North Tailwater

    PELLA — The North Tailwater area near the Red Rock Dam will be closed to the public beginning Aug. 4 to enable construction of hydroelectric facilities at the dam.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cattlemen photo People flock to Sweet Corn Serenade food, fun

    OSKALOOSA — People flocked to the Oskaloosa city square Thursday to satisfy their craving for sweet corn at the annual Sweet Corn Serenade.Event organizers bought 213 dozen ears of corn to be soaked and roasted throughout the day. The Mahaska County

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Stuff the Bus photo United Way stuffs the bus for Operation Backpack

    OSKALOOSA — United Way of Mahaska County staff stuffed a bus with donated school supplies Tuesday morning to benefit needy students around the county.This is the third year for the Stuff the Bus program that the United Way has sponsored.“It’s a schoo

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red Rock Dam 2.jpg North Tailwater to close Aug. 4

    The North Tailwater area near the Red Rock Dam will be closed to the public beginning Aug. 4 to enable construction of hydroelectric facilities at the Dam. The closure will extend until construction of the project is completed in the spring of 2018.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • Centerville man violates sex offender registry

    A Centerville man with multiple felony convictions in Monroe County was recently sentenced in the Appanoose County Courthouse for OWI and sex offender violation.

    July 31, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Brownsworth takes over helm at Van Buren hospital KEOSAUQUA — Ray Brownsworth officially started as Van Buren County Hospital’s new chief executive officer on Monday. Employees were introduced to and visited with their new administrator during a morning coffee session. Brownsworth was previously the

    July 30, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National