The Conversation

It doesn't matter what the people want to do with ObamaCare

In response to Majority of Americans Want Healthcare Mandate Delayed:

If what the American people wanted was important, ObamaCare would be long gone.  The Administration is not going to be swayed by any number of polls declaring that a majority want all or part of the program delayed.  Only Republicans are expected to be spooked by such polls, and they rarely disappoint.

Color me dubious about the reports of a major delay incoming, possibly as a little Thanksgiving gift from His Majesty to the peasants.  Right now, the Democrats calling for delay are mostly purple-state phonies who need to keep their voters sedated.  The most surprising person in their caucus to talk delay is Henry Waxman.  

But they're going to have to yell a lot louder to make Obama budge on this.  He might think about a brief suspension of deadlines, along the lines of the confusing "February - no, wait, March!" contradiction in the individual mandate rules, which looks to be "clarified" in the direction of March.  A delay measured in weeks won't make much of a difference to the colossal clusterfark of code dumped on us by Obama's no-bid contractors.  But a year delay would almost certainly be fatal to ObamaCare - with enrollment numbers as poor as they've been, it would kill off some of the participating insurance companies.  The already shaky finances of ObamaCare just aren't going to keep in the fridge for a whole year.

Enroll Maven, the website dedicated to tracking actual ObamaCare enrollment without the misleading Medicaid figures and garbage metrics the Administration likes to throw around, estimates only about 36,000 total enrollments nationwide at the moment.  The target by March 31 was supposed to be seven million.  And the total insurance cancellations reported thus far are well into six digits, close to 3 million just counting the number of confirmed cancellations from news accounts - 300,000 gunned down in Florida in just one day.  

It's tough to see how all that bad news doesn't crush the program if the individual mandate (and everything plugged into it) gets delayed by a year, particularly with midterm elections coming up.  Not to mention the stunning political victory for Republicans it would be.  Obama could try to palm it off as his personal benevolent wisdom all he wants, but not many people would forget that he provoked the shutdown crisis to protect his pet balrog.  Senator Marco Rubio is laying another marker down by putting a delay bill on the table this Monday.  There's no way Democrats can kill that bill, then have Obama pirouette right before the holidays and announce an individual mandate rollback.  But they'd also have trouble weathering the storm that would come if a Republican bill puts the mandate on ice.  

I think it's more likely Obama will double down, ram the throttles to full, and point the Titanic right at that iceberg.  Maybe he'll try to do something for mandate victims right before deadline day, if he hasn't found a way to dissipate the bad karma before then.



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