Republicans Need a Better Strategy on Obamacare
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  • LivingRock

    Instead of this scorched earth strategy, Republicans should be exploring productive ways to revise the law while advancing their own proposals for health care reform. They can’t beat something with nothing, especially something as big as Obamacare. – VM

    Absolutely agree with this statement and the general sentiment of the post. But, something tells me this strategy may bode well for the Rs for the mid-term elections. So until then this is what we’ll get from the Rs; rhetoric and no substance. Then again, it’s not like they’ll change to a more level headed approach after the elections either. Both major parties really, really stink these days…sigh

    • Andrew Allison

      The President and Senate majority have nailed their ACA colors to the mast. There’s no way they will approve changes other than the constant movement of the implementation goalposts.

      • crabtown

        Gotta raise the debt ceiling.
        Just how wedded are they?

  • Fat_Man

    Personally, I think the Republicans should ignore Obamacare. It will be a catastrophe of biblical proportions. The worst governmental failure in the US since prohibition.

    The central point of the whole exercise was to provide health insurance to every American. The way they went about it was dumber than a box of hammers.

    What will happen is that most employers will either part time their work forces or drop HI altogether. And, the individual markets will death spiral. Just wait until individual premiums of $2000/mo. are quoted for healthy singles in their 30s.

    The Republicans will be able to say I told you so.

    • Andrew Allison

      I agree. Given the givens (the Senate Majority and a President whose signature legislation this is), the Republicans should stand aside rather than being blamed, on the basis of obstructionism, for the inevitable catastrophe.

    • Corlyss

      “Personally, I think the Republicans should ignore Obamacare.”
      I’m inclined to agree. I think that would be the Sun-Tzu approach. But it requires nerves of steel to do it, like lying in the swamp while the enemy passes a matter of inches away from you so you can spring an ambush on his rear. Republicans who offer up the brinksmanship tactics are 1) not particularly deep thinkers; 2) are the junior officers in the army; and 3) were not there when Clinton flamed Gingrich et al. (of course with the ardent aid of the media, who will not hesitate to hang the shutdown around Republican necks and set fire to it). It was, IMO the operation that led directly to the Impeachment debacle, which continues to cast a long and ugly shadow over Republican fortunes. Republicans in 1995-6 wrote off the Democrats as road kill, and they were anything but. Republican recklessness gave us moveon.org, dailykos, OFA, and Obama. Democratic organizations have only gotten stronger for their alliances with the Brins and Zuckerbergs of the tech world. What have Republicans got to show for their better ideas? They can’t win policy debates, as far as the voters are concerned, primarily because they have the unhappy task of saying ‘No!’ to rapacious voter appetites for every conceivable government hand out. We’re right back in the same spot we were when Reagan remarked, “Let ’em pay for their own damn programs,” referring of course to the Santa Claus party.

      “Republican brinksmanship betrays a conviction that Obamacare will be a total, unmitigated disaster. This is not a levelheaded assessment.”
      That’s only because it hasn’t gone into effect completely. The Republicans only hope of succeeding on the argument is if the elder care provisions turn out to be so horrible the biggest voting demo rises up like the Gray Panthers and punishes Democrats for their temerity.

    • bpuharic

      26,000 Americans die every year due to lack of access to h ealthcare

      To the GOP this is a great success and proves how wonderful America is.

      • Marty Keller

        What a silly and clueless comment.

      • Andrew Allison

        I’m inclined to believe the first sentence, although a citation would give it more credibility. Unfortunately the jerky knee which produced the second one prevented it from being considered.

        • bpuharic

          Too lazy to google?

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/deaths-health-insurance_n_1613600.html

          Perhaps if you provided a citation to a reference where the GOP says our current system is a failure, your knee jerky response would have more credibility. Given the puppy love affair the WRM readership has for our current system,

          good luck

          • Andrew Allison

            You’ve finally convinced me: you are illiterate (my apologies to the rest of you for throwing Polly another cracker).

  • Andrew Allison

    I’m confused. VM tells us almost every day what a train-wreck ACA is turning out to be, but criticizes the Republicans for trying to kill it? What, pray tell is VM’s estimate of the chances of Republican revisions making it through the Senate and overcoming a Presidential veto. Being an old fart on Medicare I don’t have a dog in this fight, but logic tells me:
    a) that there ain’t enough money available to make ACA work,
    b) that the Republicans are captives of an insurance industry which is siphoning half the premiums paid,

    c) the Democrats are captives of the gimme, gimme majority, and
    d) the only way we can deliver the best possible care to the largest number of people is Medicare for everybody regardless of age, aka single-payer insurance, and private insurance for those who want more.

    • crabtown

      Dems don’t want private insurance. There’s an old post on Instapundit from a vet whose association(?) was dropped and when he called to complain, his congresscritter’s mouthpiece told him it wasn’t fair he had good insurance and others didn’t.

    • bpuharic

      The GOP is a captive of the gimme gimme socialist wealthy minority (think TARP). their primary role is not to protect America but to defend the wealthy against the middle class

      • Marty Keller

        What a silly comment. Defense of the wealthy against the middle class is a bipartisan activity.

        • bpuharic

          To the degree democrats are conservative, yes. In addition, conservative ideology is 1 dollar, 1 vote. The richest 0.01 percent gave 28 percent of all campaign contributions in 2012, enabled by conservative ideology that elections should be for sale.

      • Andrew Allison

        There you go again LOL

        • bpuharic

          I won’t hold your youth and inexperience against you. LOL

          Rebuttal? Oh…none.

    • Jane the Actuary

      You mean, Medicaid for all, right?

      • Andrew Allison

        What I mean is that logic and reason suggest to me that the only ways to deliver affordable healthcare to all are to make high-deductible (catastrophic) insurance mandatory, or some form of single-payer system such as Medicare. I attempted to initiate a civil discourse on these or any other proposals, but, surprise, surprise got flamed by medical “professionals” spouting unsupportable opinions and the usual conservative and progressive knee-jerks. As an actuary, you surely recognize that neither the present system nor ACA are affordable. What should we do?

        • Jane the Actuary

          You know, I absolutely agree with you that neither the present system nor the ACA are affordable. I find the knee-jerk reaction of “repeal and defund” to be useless, especially since any new legislation has to be based on compromises with Democrats, who have the upper hand (which no one seems to acknowledge).

          A while back, I played around with the question of “could we design a Medicaid-for-all system” here:
          http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2013/07/more-on-healthcare-medicaid-for-all.html — but I didn’t make much progress. Please feel free to poke around at my other posts and give me your thoughts.

          • Andrew Allison

            Done.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Republican position isn’t nothing, it’s that Obamacare is making things more expensive, reducing quality, and killing full time work. So, let’s go back to the what we had (which while bad, is much less bad than Obamacare), until we can figure out what to replace it with.

    • bpuharic

      The GOP won’t replace it with anything. To do so would admit middle class America has value. And the GOP, obsessed with the rich, will never do this.

      • Marty Keller

        What a silly comment.

        • Andrew Allison

          Might I gently suggest that instead of feeding Polly crackers, you just vote his more stupid comments down.

          • bpuharic

            OR you could actually try to like

            rebut

            my arguments. Funny how America is now so right wing that to try to be moderate is seen as silly.

            Tragic.

          • Andrew Allison

            Much as it goes my Parrot feeding recommendations, I must first inform you that I am a certified independent, i.e., I lean equally right, left and libertarian depending upon the issue. Second that on the (unfortunately few) occasions that you’ve made a cogent argument, I’ve voted it up. And finally, that I suspect that you are not as stupid as you appear, and that if you could actually make some arguments rather reiterating “the right is the root of all evil” knee-jerk this might be more widely recognized.

          • bpuharic

            It’s not that the right is the ‘root of all evil’. It’s that the American right is the MOST right wing in a century:

            http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/04/10/150349438/gops-rightward-shift-higher-polarization-fills-political-scientist-with-dread

            how you could be an ‘independent’ and not KNOW that the US right is extremist kind of begs the question about your self assessment.

          • Andrew Allison

            Not a self-assessment.

    • Bruce

      In addition, this legislation is an infringement on freedom, regardless of what Roberts says. VM likes to appear “reasonable” when politicians and judges are usurping freedom. When does it become reasonable to be unreasonable? Or should we just keep taking it?

      • bpuharic

        In the warped and twisted view of the US far right, dying is a ‘freedom’.

        Why? Uh..well just because.

  • crabtown

    There are other ways to skin cats.

    OTOH:

    …What Obamacare ‘really is about’According to Sebelius, “The Affordable Care Act “really is about a portion of the population (15 percent, she estimated) who is either uninsured or underinsured or in and out of the marketplaces.”She said “the other 85 percent of people” already have relatively affordable coverage, which “has gotten stronger” because of various Obamacare requirements.”Starting October 1st of this year…for about 15 percent of Americans who don’t have health coverage at all, they will have some new opportunities. They will have a new marketplace available to them, and because they don’t have an employer paying a share of the coverage, they have some help from the federal government.”She estimated that Latinos comprise about 25 percent of the individuals eligible for new coverage options….” –
    All this for 15% of the population?

    • Corlyss

      “She said “the other 85 percent of people” already have relatively affordable coverage.”
      Those were the real target of Obamacare. Their aim was to sever the link between employer-based health care thru private insurance industry and set those people adrift. They don’t give a rip about the 15%. There’s no money in poor people. The Big Lie was that there’s millions out there without heath care because they’re too poor to afford it. Most of them were illegals and the rest were young people who didn’t want to pay for it. But the propaganda mill got to work on the 85% and convinced them they were moral lepers for not demanding health care for everyone. Poll after poll for years showed that while 80%+ approved of their health care under their health insurance, they worried greatly about their neighbors and friends who didn’t have health care ‘because they were unemployed.’ So it is to them that we owe a large debt of gratitude for their ignorant support for “doing something” about the uninsured. Well, they got what they wished for: action. Now, they too will pay for their failure to take seriously their responsibility as citizens to be informed about the issues. Unfortunately all of us will have to pay for their ignorance.

      • bpuharic

        Severing the link would be good. It would enable workers to change jobs to better their position without worrying about losing healthcare. Which is why the right opposes it. Anything that gives power to working people is, by definition, not conservative.

        ANd your tinfoil hat is slipping. Obama specifically said his plan would not affect the 90 percent of people who have healthcare.

        The reason we have to protect the unemployed is that right wing supply side economics subsidizes the rich by making the middle class pay when the rich screw up. We lose our jobs, our homes, our communities while the rich get preferential tax rates and bailouts. The perfect conservative solution.

        • Marty Keller

          A final non-sequitur based upon pure partisan bias. Nice.

          • Fred

            Marty,
            b. is our resident troll. It’s actually not his partisanship that bothers me as much as his sheer idiocy. He is absolutely incapable of making, much less sustaining, an argument that is more than DNC talking points, and he doesn’t even get those right three quarters of the time. He is best ignored.

          • Jim__L

            Actually, bpuharic is a sophisticated computer program. (The name is an
            acronym, whose constituent words escape me at the moment.) The wonks
            of Silicon Valley, looking for the next big time-saving app, noticed how much time is being wasted by left-leaning Netizens in regurgitating Leftist talking points on internet forums. So, they developed an artificial intelligence [sic] capable of searching for various keywords, and producing forum replies based on those keywords. That’s why b’s replies are often at odds with the actual sense of the Quick Take or post being replied to.

            Truly, we’ve come a long way from early efforts like Eliza. As we can see, we’re very, very close to creating something capable of passing the Turing test.

            Oh brave new world, that has such beings in it!

  • bpuharic

    You have to remember the GOP is a far right extremist party composed of Taliban like religious fanatics who think man is depraved and fallen therefore the middle class must be destroyed. Coupled with this is the Calvinist conviction that the rich are blessed of god and therefore must be protected at all costs.

    The GOP will NEVER NEVER propose a healthcare plan for the middle class precisely because to do so would entail moral hazards that protects middle class people who they think should die because they’re poor.

    • Marty Keller

      Your partisanship never disappoints.

      • bpuharic

        Fine. Prove me wrong. Have the GOP propose an affordable universal healthcare plan for the middle class

        • Jeff Jones

          Not proposing universal healthcare, which always goes broke does not prove that they “think certain middle class people should die” to paraphrase your nonsense.

          If their constituents wanted universal healthcare, we would have had it years before Obama took office. The fact is, there are a lot more people out there who despise government run anything than you’re ever going to admit.

          And, by the way, there will be more people without healthcare when this POS collapses than there were before it passed. By your comments, I’d say you will still consider it a success.

          • bpuharic

            “Despise govt run anything’

            Well, yes, that’s my argument. Govt run healthcare works.

            The right opposes it because it protects the middle class which, according to right wing ideology, is evil

            Welfare for the rich? Great, if you’re right wing. Farm subsidies, preferential tax rates, all great because the rich get richer. Conservatives are in favor of those.

          • Jim__L

            New Zealand was proud to be one of the first countries in the world to provide universal healthcare. Since then, they have moved to a “user-pays” system because it was found to be more workable.

  • Boritz

    ***An obsessive focus on defunding Obamacare, just to disgrace your political opponents, is a recipe for disaster.***
    WRM occasionally drops way below his own standards. This is an example of what William Buckley called non-rigorous thinking.
    Recall that Obama was careful to sell ACA on the basis that you can keep your plan. In the absence of ACA I could have. Nothing (meaning the status quo) IS better than ACA because ACA is that awful.

    Why WRM reviews the health insurance debate landscape and comes away imputing “just” an attempt by opponents to win at politics is not at all clear. Read Kimberly Strassel’s excellent recent article in the WSJ for an understanding of the principled conservative opposition to ACA.

    • Andrew Allison

      It would be instructive to know whether such silly VM posts are actually from Prof. Mead or from one of his, by definition immature, Interns. Seems to me that it would be a good idea to identify which is which, and for we mature readers to cut the kids some slack by trying to explain the facts of life rather simply dismissing them.

  • Jane the Actuary

    Republicans have got to start recognizing that half a loaf is better than none. Their perpetual repeal or defund votes aren’t going anywhere, and their apparent disinterest in coming up with a compromise position which achieves some meaningful goals while allowing the Democrats to save face, is very disheartening.

    http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2013/08/obamacare-fixes-and-saving-face.html

    • Marty Keller

      “Compromise” in this context means surrendering the underlying principle to the Left. It always amazes me when people insist that the GOP has to compromise, not the Left. Tell me, why is that?

      • bpuharic

        The right has caused this congress to have a record number of filibusters. The right routinely threatens to shut down the govt unless it gets its way

        You were saying

      • Jane the Actuary

        Because the Democrats have the upper hand, that’s why!

  • Jim__L

    “They can’t beat something with nothing,”

    When we’re going broke because we’ve made too many promises we can’t keep, “nothing” — i.e., refraining from making more promises — is exactly what we need to do.

    “especially something as big as Obamacare.”

    How exactly is “bigness” a logical justification for supporting the ObamaCare monstrosity?

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