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ACA Fail Fractal
First Democratic Senator Calls for Obamacare Repeal

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told West Virginia paper The Register Herald that he would vote to repeal Obamacare, making him the first Democratic Senator to do so:

He asked for all the listeners to let him and other lawmakers know their thoughts on the variety of topics, including the Affordable Care Act. “We spend more on health care than any state, but we rank 43rd on wellness and longevity.” Both parties agree on many aspects of the ACA, such as pre-existing conditions not being excluded from coverage and no lifetime caps, but there are still many kinks that need to be fixed, Manchin said. “I will vote tomorrow to repeal (the ACA), but I want to fix the problems in it.” He said the ACA is essentially a product and the government needs to find a way to “sell it” and make their customers want to buy it.

Sen. Manchin’s pivot increases the likelihood that after the midterms the Senate will have a majority for repeal.

If the Obama Administration wants to understand how it is still losing ground on this issue even after the website has been largely fixed, it should look no further than this story in yesterday’s New York Times. The article highlights how public-sector employers have reduced their employees’ working hours in order to avoid the ACA’s employer mandate. These work-hour reductions remind us that America’s health care system has two big problems: access and affordability. The ACA is trying to open up access to the system without first fixing the cost problem. The natural and inevitable result is that the ACA imposes high costs on employers and others, who are responding rationally to these incentives.

As public sector employers go, so too will private employers. Just how serious a development this is comes across clearly in the language the NYT itself uses:

The cuts to public sector employment, which has failed to rebound since the recession, could serve as a powerful political weapon for Republican critics of the health care law, who claim that it is creating a drain on the economy.

When the NYT says that a development “could bolster Republican arguments,” they mean, “Holy cow! This is a total disaster that can’t be spun.” And when Democratic Senators start coming out for repeal, it means the law’s future is well and truly in jeopardy.

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  • qet

    Predictably, nary a mention of this in the paper of record in our nation’s capital. They probably consider it just local WV news.

    Edit: in fairness, I should specify: in today’s on-line edition.

    • Corlyss

      You have to listen to Bret Baier’s Special Report to hear the whole story.

      BTW is WaPo anyone’s paper of record? I thought that was still just the NYT and the St. Louis Dispatch.

  • Asmund Hairy-Arse

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Manchin is a Republican when the Senate begins its session in Jan 2015.

  • TheCynical1

    Props to Senator Manchin for getting through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance).

  • Kavanna

    The Republicans are not competent to get Obamacare repealed. When it happens, it will be Democrats doing it.

    • Corlyss

      Regrettably, probably true. Apparently the Republican team is campaigning on nothing this season except how uncontroversial they are. Begs the question what g*dda*mn use they are as a party.

  • Bruce

    Manchin has been positioning himself as a non-Dem Dem ever since he ran as AK-47 Joe blasting targets in the woods in his TV ads. Does this blog actually think that there will be enough of a consensus to over-ride an inevitable Obama veto of the “ACA Elimination Act”? Anyone that didn’t know what the ACA would bring as far as the business response and the results on workers was not engaged in a legitimate analysis. This post’s analysis of the NYT reaction is accurate and disrespects the NYT as the partisan rag it is versus a legitimate source of news. Congratulations on that insight.

  • Corlyss

    “Democratic Senator Joe Manchin became the first in his party to publicly turn on the Affordable Care Act, announcing he would vote to repeal the President’s landmark legislation.”

    Well, yeah, but once the White House goons got to him, he walked it all the way back so the counter is now back to zero.

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