Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Dam Is Starting To Break

I have written extensively about the problems I foresaw with Obamacare and its implementation going back several years.  You can read some of my observations below.

One absolute about our country that I have pointed out in my writings is that you cannot sustain any type of law or public policy without the support of the people.  Laws and policies that do not have the support of the governed cannot be sustained.  Two prime examples are Prohibition and the Vietnam War.

The Democrats have toed the party line and have been united in their support of Obamacare and their President for over 3-1/2 years.  I predicted that the day would come where there would be a break in their ranks.  That day may be upon us.  The dam looks like it is starting to break.

Politicians are responsive to power.  We would like to think that they are most responsive to the power of the people first and foremost.  However, their first reaction is to react to the power closest to them.  For Democrats that is the President.  He has a lot of levers he can pull.  Money, appointments, privileges, trips and cuff links to name a few.

However, that political power is limited if the power of the people begins to consolidate and coalesce and the politician begins to fear for his or her own power.  If the politician does not win the next election the President's power is meaningless.  The people's power is absolute in our system.  Unfortunately, too many people don't believe it.  However, it is very real.  We may see how real in the next few weeks.

The flaws of Obamacare are now apparent to everyone.  There is nowhere for Democrats to hide. Especially those Democrats in red states or competitive Congressional districts. The talking points are no longer believable.  The explanations are empty.  The excuses are inexcusable.

When you see what will unfold over the next several weeks keep in mind that these were the same Democrats who refused to consider any type of delay or deferment of Obamacare's individual mandate just two weeks ago.  They were the same people who referred to Republicans who asked for a simple one-year delay in the individual mandate as "terrorists", "wackos" and "extremists".

What has changed?

Why did these Democrats put us through the government shutdown if they are now going to reverse course?

Is this a surprise?

Not to BeeLine.

If I understood and could see this coming in Cincinnati, Ohio why didn't Secretary Sebelius or President Obama? Sebelius can be fired.  It is a year too late and three long years before we can be free from the other guy who brought this on.

Elections do have consequences. 

Thankfully, the Democrats who you will undoubtedly see turning on Obamacare also understand it.

I wrote this in March, 2012 (on the day before oral arguments on Obamacare before the Supreme Court)

My guess is the Supreme Court will uphold the law.  That opinion is not based on what I think should happen but on what I think will happen.

It is extremely rare that the Supreme Court overturns a law that Congress has passed.  

(Obamacare) is a mess and I think it will get worse when we see the results on the individual market when the public exchanges come on line. 

I wrote this in January, 2013

If I were to make one prognostication about 2013, I would suggest that the first open enrollment period with Obamacare's health care exchanges is going to be very chaotic.  As a result, I do not think I would want to be the HHS Secretary in October or November.  I do not see how the systems for the open enrollment period can be ready to handle what has to be done. 

I wrote this in April, 2013

We only have six months until the Obamacare health insurance exchanges are available for enrollments. Most of the provisions of what I call the "Unaffordable Care Act" go into full effect on January 1, 2014.

I think it will be very interesting to see this play out.

As an outside observer who knows a good deal about the health insurance marketplace, I would have serious concerns if I were the Obama administration and the Democrats.  This is one that can't be blamed on Bush, the right-wing Republicans or the Tea Party if it does not go well.  And there are many ways it could go wrong.

The first question I have is whether the health insurance exchanges will be ready and will function as intended?  I believe there is a good chance that the entire process could be chaotic and confusing for the public.

The fact is that the information technology challenge to establish the exchanges is considerable.  This challenge has become even more pronounced since so many states have decided to forego establishing their own exchange and have delegated that responsibility to the federal government.

I wrote this in July, 2013

How long are Democrats are going to keep sailing on the S.S. Obamacare?  Right now the ship is listing badly.  Captain Obama will throw as many things overboard as he can to keep it from sinking.  However, you can be assured that all Congressional Democrats will not be willing to sacrifice themselves to keep it afloat if the waves of public opinion start overwhelming the ship.  Therein will determine the ultimate fate of Obamacare and whether this cruise ever reaches a safe port.

I wrote this in August, 2013

I am of the opinion that there is a good chance that Obamacare will fall and fail under its own weight.  The Republicans don't have to kill it.  It may well die on its own as the public further questions the law and the fundamental flaws that plague the statute become more and more apparent. 

This would either drag down the entire Democratic party or (more likely) you would start to see substantial defections from the ranks of Democrats in defending the law. This could lead to a repeal vote that would get substantial bi-partisan support that could prove devastating to the legacy of Barack Obama.

I wrote this on October 1, 2013 (the day the Obamacare exchanges launched)

This truly looks like a potential train wreck but a lot will depend on how the problems are played in the media. Will the media cover for the problems or not? This will be an important indicator to watch.

The future of Obamacare will not be decided in the next few days.  It will ultimately be decided in the court of public opinion over the next few years.  When the public really sees it in operation, will they embrace it?  We have been told since its passage by the President and the Democrats that the public would come to love Obamacare.  We have yet to see that yet after nearly 1,300 days.  Watch closely over the coming months to see how the narrative on Obamacare plays out.

Laws that do not have public backing do not survive over the long term.   Both parties have left little question where they stand on the issue.  The question I am interested in seeing is whether both parties will still be standing in the same way on the issue come the 2014 elections. 

I wrote this on October 13, 2013

I would give better than even odds that President Obama will have no choice but to waive the individual mandate before we reach the end of the year.  At that time we will all wonder why he didn't do it when the Republicans asked for it in October.  I guess it only counts if he does it.

The demise of the Republican Party right now is greatly exaggerated.  As time goes on, it will increasingly be dangerous to be a Democrat as Obamacare implodes.

Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius will probably be the first casualty.  She will not be the only one before it is over.

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