The bad news is that the latest attempt to fix Obamacare has collapsed. The Good News is that the effort was a bipartisan “compromise” that would have bailed out the health insurance companies without fixing the problems that made such a thing necessary, as Hot Air points out. Now both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are uncertain about what to do next.

It seemed like a good idea at the time

When President Trump ended the subsidy payments to the insurance companies, which were illegal as they were never appropriated by Congress, he accelerated the death spiral that the Obamacare exchanges have been undergoing since they were first established.

Senators from both parties wondered who would get the blame. Would Americans blame Democrats for creating the Obamacare system, to begin with? Or would they blame Republicans for “sabotaging” the exchanges? Senators are evidently afraid that both suppositions may be correct.

So Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington State forged what was called a bipartisan compromise to plug the gap. The essence of the plan was that the insurance company subsidies would be reinstated, this time legally through a congressional appropriation. In exchange, the states would be granted a certain flexibility to regulate health insurance policies under the exchanges. President Trump seemed to be supportive.

The devil is in the details

However, after looking at the fine print, many Republicans begin to take a dim view of the “compromise.” The regulatory flexibility being offered was judged to be inadequate. For example, states would be about to allow low premium catastrophic insurance policies, but only to Americans over 30. Younger people are the prime market for such policies.

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The plan did not address mandated health services that have to be covered nor the community pricing rates to include preexisting conditions. Trump withdrew his support of the deal. Then, House Speaker Paul Ryan came out in opposition, ensuring that the plan could never pass the House.

What happens next?

What probably happens next is likely a lot of finger pointing and partisan backbiting.

The Obamacare exchanges are collapsing, and a lot of people are due to suffer as a result. Congress seems to be unable to fix the mess that it first made in 2010 when it passed the Obamacare law, to begin with.

The question arising, as before, is who will get the blame for the disaster. Strictly speaking, the Democrats are to blame because they passed Obamacare. However, the Democrats and their allies in the media will try to shift the blame to the Republicans, claiming that Obamacare ran like a Swiss watch before Trump got his hands on it. Americans are, as usual, caught in the middle.