November 11 2013
Repeal: Sooner than You Thought Possible?
Just want to call your attention to a piece in Forbes in which Steven Hayward predicts that endangered Democrats (!) will begin to lead the charge for repeal of ObamaCare early next year.
The push may come with attempts at saving face, but the momentum will be unstoppable:
Senate Democrats endangered for re-election will lead the charge for repeal perhaps as soon as January, after they get an earful over the Christmas break. They’ll call it “reform,” and clothe it in calls for delaying the individual mandate and allowing people and businesses to keep their existing health insurance policies. But it is probably too late to go back in many cases.
With the political damage guaranteed to continue, the momentum toward repeal will be unstoppable. Democrats will not want to face the voters next November with the albatross of Obamacare.
The politics of the repeal effort will be a game theorist’s dream. Tea Party Republicans will resist “reforms” to Obamacare in favor of complete repeal. Democrats will try to turn the tables and set up Republicans as obstacles to reform, hoping to inoculate themselves prospectively from mayhem at the polls next November. The House might want to insist that the Senate go first; after all, it was the Senate version of the bill that the House had to swallow after Scott Brown’s election in January 2010.
The House can rightly insist that the Senate needs to clean up the mess they made. Obama may well give Capitol Hill Democrats a pass on a repeal vote, and veto any bill that emerges. He’ll never face the voters again.
Also worth pondering is Hayward’s take on why President Obama uttered his patently untrue you-can-keep-your-doctor/policy. He said that because he had to.
President Obama knew the lessons of Hillarycare, which failed when details began to leak out and people realized that they would, in fact, lose their doctors and other specialists.
The president must have thought it imperative to portray ObamaCare as merely an expansion of coverage that would include the previously uninsured but leave those who were already buying policies they liked undisturbed. This was never going to be possible, Hayward writes, and bureaucrats knew it. Hayward marvels that people on the president’s team didn’t bother to “prepare a pre-emptive strategy for dealing with the inevitable exposure of the duplicity at the heart of Obamacare’s logic.”
Hayward compares ObamaCare--the website problems are apparently only the tip of an iceberg--to what the Iraq War became for President George W. Bush.