Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who Cares?

At The Hill yet another discussion of how Obamacare will hurt the Dems this November. Ho hum.  The real news is hidden away, well into the piece:

In the short term, ObamaCare’s supporters argue that a surge in enrollments is still possible and that, in any event, the chances of the law collapsing under its own weight have been greatly exaggerated. Republicans privately acknowledge that repeal is now off the table, in part because taking new healthcare coverage away from people would be political suicide.

That's what Repubs are privately saying?  If that's so, why should anyone vote for them ever?  Obamacare has been political suicide and they can't do anything about it?  If you can't get rid of an unpopular law that you presumably think is a bad idea, you're worthless.

Okay, I understand certain aspects of the law--the parts where the government hands out things for free--are popular.  This is not news--taxes aren't popular, refunds are.  This doesn't mean you can't get rid of the law. Let's assume the GOP takes the Senate (which I don't think will happen).  Repeal isn't going to happen anyway as long as a Democrat's in the White House.  So vote on numerous popular anti-Obamacare bills and if they don't become law at least all Dems will have to go on record.

And then, if you can take the White House (which is more important than everything else combined--just the Presidency could get you most of what you want) and hold the Congress, go into full gear.  First, if you can't get rid of everything in one fell swoop (and I think you can, but that's another argument), gut it by either stopping dead or repealing every part of the law you can. A death spiral is possible but it may need a nudge.

Cancel paybacks to insurance companies to cover losses.  Allow people to get any insurance they want, "substandard" or not. Don't fine or punish anyone for failing to buy from the exchange.  Give states greater leeway in making their own rules.  Cut the legs out from under the law so it can't function.

If you can't take some part of the law head on, you can change it by tinkering--after all, that's what the President's been doing since the rollout.  For example, you don't have to repeal a giveaway like letting young adults stay on their parents' insurance till they're 26--just limit what sort of insurance this can cover, raise the price faster (to reflect the actual cost), don't cover anyone under 26 above a certain salary level, etc.

It's really not that hard.  But if the GOP wants to give up before they start, what's the point of having parties?


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Hmm. You're a little late to the Party, LAGuy.

The TEA PARTY that is. Welcome. The water's fine.

1:08 AM, March 27, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean the water they use to make the kool aid?

You sound like Strom Thurmond thundering about returning to the good old days

4:03 AM, March 27, 2014  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I'm still unclear on whether the many delays and changes that the President has made to the law are (1) unconstitutional; (2) within the rightful authority of the president as executor of federal laws, (3) within his rightful authority in this case because Obamacare specifically delegates to the POTUS and/or the HHS Secretary the power to alter many clauses in the law.

If it is # 1, then this is a serious problem.

If it is #2 or #3, then a Republican president elected in 2016 could simply exempt everyone from every Obamacare mandate, and extend all Obamacare deadlines to the 24th Century. And he could do that, rightfully, even if Congress were run by Democrats.

1:50 PM, March 27, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Anon! It's been awhile! Good to hear from you. Thanks for the racist dog whistle!

1:51 PM, March 27, 2014  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Republicans always seem to draw the wrong lesson from electoral defeats. The failure to capture the Senate 4 years ago, or the Presidency 2 years ago is not the result of being too strident against socialized insurance. In the Senate you had a series of atrocious candidates (really really stupid people - I know the Democrats get away with this often, but Republicans are held to a higher standard by the media). As for the presidential election, a candidate who couldn't credibly take on on Obamacare combined with a failure to inspire confidence that he had a real political identity or theme.

Now the Republicans have other problems, primarily a terrible (if unfair) reputation in the immigrant communities). But they should realize that opposing Obamacare is their only hope of reascending to national party status. Of course, they have to do a good job once in power (another message the Republican House is struggling with). Still, I'm surprised LA Guy doubts the chances for Republican take over of the Senate this time - there don't seem to be too many lunatic right candidates emerging at this point. Cory Gardner in CO will give Mark Udall a real run for his money.

8:06 AM, March 28, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

It's too early to make a serious call on the Senate in any case, but right now I see three relatively easy pickups, probably no losses, and several other seats where they have a chance. But these other seats are tossups where incumbents will have an edge unless the Republicans do it right, which they have not been doing lately. Also, we're still not sure what turnout will be like--if it's like 2010, that's good for the GOP, but did 2012 point to something different?

9:50 AM, March 28, 2014  

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