Republicans Won’t Destroy Obamacare

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

In arguably the most amusing and ironic political development in years, the united front displayed by congressional Democrats during the government shutdown dissolved in five days.

Reality will do what House Republicans could not. Republicans won’t destroy Obamacare. Washington Democrats will.

The House passed a series of bills to fund the government, while delaying Obamacare’s Individual Mandate the way the president delayed the Employer Mandate – only legally – and eliminating special Obamacare subsidies for members of Congress (and staffs) unavailable to anyone else.

Democrats stonewalled, holding Obamacare inviolable. Few House Democrats supported the House funding bills, and the Democrat-controlled Senate killed every House proposal, shutting down the government while forcing solidarity in the form of unanimous, on-the-record Democratic votes for Obamacare and their own unique supplemental benefits..
The deal done, distractions aside, media and public attention shifted to the magnificent wreckage of the Obamacare rollout.

Obamacare has turned into the catastrophe that House conservatives, Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and others said it would be. Even though vilified leading up to and during the shutdown, principled conservatives raised public consciousness of Obamacare’s flaws making it impossible for the media and Democrats to obscure them.

Unless it collapses under its own crushing incompetency – and quickly – Obamacare will be brought down by fearful congressional Democrats running for reelection in 2014.
Obamacare isn’t just a hopelessly-mangled web site, it’s a bundle of contradictory, false promises – that Obamacare would lower the deficit, provide universal coverage and reduce total health spending, while lowering premiums for those having insurance. The promise that Americans could keep their coverage and physicians is already inoperative, and universal coverage remains a fantasy.
The Manhattan Institute reported that, in the individual market on average, premiums for women will increase 62 percent in 2014, 99 percent for men. The Heritage Foundation forecast that premiums will fall in five high-premium states, but Americans will suffer everywhere else. Since enactment, Obamacare’s 10-year estimated cost has ballooned from $900 billion to $2.6 trillion, expenditures that will further inflate America’s growing $17 trillion national debt.

As the calamitous Obamacare rollout inspired more and greater parody, vulnerable Democrats desperately began to seek cover.

Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal:

"Jeanne Shaheen doesn’t sound like a Democrat who just won a government-shutdown ‘victory.’ Ms. Shaheen sounds like a Democrat who thinks she’s going to lose her job.
"The New Hampshire senator fundamentally altered the health-care fight on Tuesday [October 22] with a letter to the White House demanding it both extend the ObamaCare enrollment deadline and waive tax penalties for those unable to enroll. Within nanoseconds, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor had endorsed her ‘common-sense idea.’ By Wednesday night, five Senate Democrats were on board, pushing for . . . what’s that dirty GOP word? Oh, right. ‘Delay.’

"After 16 long days of vowing to Republicans that they would not cave in any way, shape or form on ObamaCare, Democrats spent their first post-shutdown week caving in every way, shape and form. …[T]he only story now is the unrivaled disaster that is the president’s health-care law."
A law for which every Senate and most House Democrats voted – and upon which they staked their political futures.
CNN reports that all sixteen Senate Democrats up for re-election will support Ms. Shaheen’s proposal. Republicans must only win seven seats to regain a Senate majority.

House Democrats are getting in line, too.

The 2014 midterm election will play out in key states where polls of Obamacare, the president and his party’s handling of the economy are unfavorable. Among those, Arkansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alaska and Montana have Democratic senators up for reelection. Nine, perhaps ten Senate Democrats are considered vulnerable. Though each will face qualified challengers, Democrats’ greatest obstacles aren’t Republicans but the law named for their president. That’s why Obamacare, at least in its present form, must go.
More Strassel: "The White House’s problem is that political cracks like this don’t get patched; they grow. … [T]he administration could write off the 20-odd House Democrats who voted with Republicans this summer to delay parts of the law… But now a…significant number of Senate Democrats have, on their own, signaled that it is acceptable for members of the president’s party to demand consequential ObamaCare changes."

For a chance to preserve a Senate majority, Washington Democrats must fundamentally change Obamacare. Only the legendary denial and obstinacy of the Obama administration can prevent it.