Obamacare 2014: Another unhappy new year
About This Event

Event Summary

Technical problems that initially plagued the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) rollout are being resolved and more people are now able to sign up for the exchanges, but the rocky enrollment and other issues continue to pose problems for the law. AEI health experts hosted a discussion on Wednesday that addressed the law's current status and future prospects.

Joseph Antos examined enrollment numbers, pointing out that based on current rates, enrollment in March will be millions short of the administration’s target. James C. Capretta discussed the future of the individual mandate, projecting that the tax will not generate as much revenue as the Congressional Budget Office estimated, and that the mandate will likely be postponed because of political pressure associated with levying such a tax on millions of Americans.

Thomas P. Miller explained some of the legal challenges the ACA faces. He suggested that, if successful, some of the current cases stand to change the bargaining power and leverage of the states. Antos, Capretta, and Miller concluded that the recent slowdown in health care spending is not because of the ACA, that the individual mandate is likely to be delayed, and that as long as the US maintains some vestiges of a private system there will be strong incentives to solve cost problems in the future.
--Neil McCray

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Event Description

This is the second event in a three-part AEI breakfast series discussing the implications of developments in Obamacare implementation.

Three months into the Affordable Care Act’s rollout, where do we stand? From the administration’s multiple delays in implementation to millions of coverage cancellations to ongoing federal court cases, many aspects of the law have yet to be settled.

How are these developments affecting Obamacare’s long-term viability, and what do they mean for Americans now attempting to access insurance through the exchanges? What implications do they have for stakeholders — such as insurance companies, businesses, and providers — who are affected by the law? And what problems have yet to appear?

Join AEI scholars for the second event in a discussion series of the promises, problems, and implications of the Affordable Care Act rollout. Click here for information about the previous event.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.



8:15 AM
Registration and Breakfast

8:30 AM
Joseph Antos, AEI
James C. Capretta, AEI
Thomas P. Miller, AEI

Ramesh Ponnuru, AEI and National Review

9:15 AM
Question-and-Answer Session

9:30 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Neil McCray at neil.mccray@aei.org, 202.862.5826.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact MediaServices@aei.org, 202.862.5829.

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AEI Participants


  • Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy.

    Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to CBO, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.

    Antos has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.

    Follow Joseph Antos on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5938
    Email: jantos@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 2028625826
    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org


James C.
  • James Capretta has spent more than two decades studying American health care policy. As an associate director at the White House's Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, he was responsible for all health care, Social Security and welfare issues. Earlier, he served as a senior health policy analyst at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and at the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. Capretta is also concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. At AEI, he will be researching how to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (best known as Obamacare) with a less expensive reform plan to provide effective and secure health insurance for working-age Americans and their families.

  • Email: James.Capretta@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 202-862-5826
    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org


Thomas P.
  • Thomas Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). He studies health care policy and regulation. A former trial attorney, journalist, and sports broadcaster, Mr. Miller is the co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong For America (HarperCollins 2011) and heads AEI's "Beyond Repeal & Replace" health reform project. He has testified before Congress on issues including the uninsured, health care costs, Medicare prescription drug benefits, health insurance tax credits, genetic information, Social Security, and federal reinsurance of catastrophic events. While at the JEC, he organized a number of hearings that focused on reforms in private health care markets, such as information transparency and consumer-driven health care.
  • Phone: 202-862-5886
    Email: tmiller@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 202-862-5826
    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org


  • A senior editor for National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 18 years, Ponnuru is also a columnist for Bloomberg View. A prolific writer, he is the author of a monograph about Japanese industrial policy and a book about American politics and the sanctity of human life. At AEI, Ponnuru examines the future of conservatism, with particular attention to health care, economic policy, and constitutionalism.


    • "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life," Regnery Publishing, 2006

    • "The Mystery of Japanese Growth," AEI Press, 1995

    Follow Ramesh Ponnuru on Twitter.
  • Email: ramesh.ponnuru@aei.org
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