David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s adviser and former campaign manager, told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ This Week Sunday Morning that it would be an “impossibility” for the Republican Party to run against Obamacare in the 2014 midterm election because “millions of people will be signed up.”
Ignoring the fact that Obamacare has only managed, at best, to sign up about 100,000 people in six weeks, and that “millions of people” have already lost their insurance due to Obamacare, Plouffe inadvertendly revealed the real purpose behind the rushed, botched rollout: to make the policy politically irreversible.
Democrats’ strategy has long been to hook Americans on the taxpayer-funded subsidies and consumer-funded coverage guarantees that Obamacare was supposed to provide. They speculated, that Republicans would never dare to “take away” people’s an entitlement to “health care,” even a deeply flawed one.
That is the “context” for Nancy Pelosi’s infamous statement that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” It was important to create a policy that could only be ratcheted “upwards”–towards single-payer health care–and never back to a market-based approach.
Plouffe is expressing the same idea. It goes beyond the hubris that Republicans cannot defeat Democrats on the issue. What Democrats have wanted to do from the start is place Obamacare beyond political debate. That is why they ignored the Constitution, the procedures of Congress, and the will of the American people.
Republicans can only hope that Obama and his inner circle continue to regard changing Obamacare–never mind repealing it–as an “impossibility.” That ensures they will continue to stoke the possibility of another wave election in 2014–or perhaps a veto-proof, bipartisan repeal effort in Congress, whichever comes first.