'Keep your plan' bills are the beginning of repeal
Those million dead insurance plans in California were probably a big factor in Senator Dianne Feinstein's decision to hit the ObamaCare lifeboats. She didn't wait long after she got the go-ahead from Bill Clinton.
Of course, Feinstein portrays her departure as a "commonsense" fix that will only make a great program better. She knows that isn't true; all of them do. Legislation to let people keep their insurance plans is the beginning of ObamaCare repeal. Its death would proceed inexorably from there, hastened considerably if the individual mandate is also delayed (sorry kids, but it looks like Obama's promises to have the system working by December 1 aren't going to pan out.)
The Young Invincibles are already avoiding ObamaCare, and their money is desperately needed to prop the system up. According to insurance companies, the paltry trickle of current applicants have, unsurprisingly, been the older, sicker, designated "winners" of the redistribution scheme. The losers will never voluntarily submit. If ObamaCare policies could win a free-market competition, the Affordable Care Act would be 5,000 pages shorter than it is.
The system was designed to kill insurance plans and force people into the exchanges. HHS regulations were designed to turn the concept of "grandfathering" into an abstract theory, setting conditions that few plans actually meet. The Administration could have avoided writing such rules, or could have rewritten them almost immediately when chaos ensued. Obama's Big Lie is a monstrous act of fraud not just because he knew this would happen, but because he needs it to happen. There can be no voluntary escape from the system he designed.
Compulsive force is useless if people can walk away from it, which is why the Founding Fathers made such a big deal about the importance of securing "the consent of the governed." This implies that a just government gives citizens a meaningful way to withdraw their consent, which in practice means there shouldn't be very many inescapable federal programs, and most government plans should be voluntary. Give the revenue targets of ObamaCare a way to escape, and the whole thing becomes a high-performance engine for bankrupting the insurance industry... which is what Obama and his socialist crew wanted all along, but not this fast.
There's no way they can sell single-payer as the alternative to such a swift and obvious disaster, not with public trust in not only Obama but Big Government in general rapidly deteriorating. And the insurance executives who made their peace with a 10-year glide path to single-payer aren't going to sit quietly while a "reformed" ObamaCare system slaughters their companies in a single year, especially not when the Left is using them as scapegoats for Obama's failures. The death spiral that would result from passage of a "keep your plan" act would eliminate the last bit of leverage the Administration has over its Little Partners, and the pushback would be ferocious.
There will never be a formal surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship - people like Senator Feinstein will be touting these measures as "reforms" and claiming it was all their idea - but the passage of any sort of "keep your plan" bill is the death of ObamaCare. The big question will be whether Republicans have the political skill to make the process painfully obvious to the American people, and make Democrats pay the price for what they have done, in 2014 and 2016.
A good start would be a unified GOP embracing people like Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, holding them up as the heroes they've always been, and reminding the public that just a few weeks ago, Democrats shut the government down to protect the disaster that is now unfolding before our eyes. Replay the best cuts from the Cruz filibuster, over and over again. Remind everyone that Democrats have never understood the law they forced on the rest of us - they used to boast about how they didn't read it, and didn't have to, because it was packed with so much wonder and glory. Remind everyone that Obama lied, then lied about lying, then lied about the lies he told about lying, but people like Cruz have been 100 percent right and honest every step of the way. Cash in the chips that Cruz, Lee, and the rest of the defund/delay/repeal movement have put on the table for you, Republicans.