It grows increasingly clear that Obamacare is a national calamity, perhaps headed toward the dreaded "Death Spiral" some have written about. Although I wrote here many times that the GOP's best policy would have been to simply get out of the way and let this train wreck occur, in my wildest dreams I could not have envisioned just how poorly this has turned out. I am told that several weeks ago, the GOP shut down the government, and would suffer mightily for it. Remember that?
But, we are headed toward a very, very interesting point. The President lied, and he knows he lied. Democrats across the country in both chambers were complicit in that lie, as they unanimously voted against Republican measures that would have ACTUALLY allowed people to keep their healthcare. So not only did every Republican in the land vote against Obamacare, every Democrat voted against the one measure that would have relegated this current mess to a simple web design error. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
I don't know the right answer to what to do now. Should Republicans shout from the highest mountain "we told you so, and we voted that way--deal with it" as millions lose their coverage and find sticker shock on these exchanges? Remember--this is simply the first wave, the individual policy holders. Because the business mandate was put off for a year, millions and millions of people who get their coverage through their jobs HAVE YET TO FIND OUT that their policy is non-compliant, and therefore will be cancelled. Of course, compliant policies will be 1) more expensive with 2) higher co-pays.
If so, how would this go over with voters? Could we overplay our hand on this? Could we potentially screw this up, as the President earnestly takes to the airwaves to tell the country he's made a giant mistake, he's sorry and wants to fix it, but THE BIG BAD REPUBLICANS ARE STANDING IN THE WAY, AGAIN?
I'm frankly astonished that the House hasn't passed a clean, one year delay bill that sets the clock back (if such a thing is Constitutional). It would force the Senate to vote ONE MORE TIME on the thing that they wouldn't do before, but that which many of them would now give their eye-teeth to have (Pryor, Landrieu et al). That way, both the individual mandate and the employer mandate would come in at the same time, revealing beyond a shadow of a doubt the depths of the calumny perpetrated upon this country by President Obama---right before the midterms. I believe it would lead to Republican majorities in both chambers.
I think we need to be very, very careful here and make sure that we don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
But as of right now, I like our odds....