Friday, November 15, 2013

Obama & Dems Give In To GOP Again

During the recent government shutdown, it looked like the Democrats (and the president) had finally discovered they have a spine -- and they put it to good use by refusing to give in to Republican demands. They won that fight by staying strong and sticking together. But the Democrats must have felt uncomfortable living with a spine, because they have now folded again to Republican lies and demands.

This time it is over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). That health reform law set some basic standards for what health insurance policies must cover. This was done to prevent greedy private insurance companies from selling "scam" policies that took money from consumers, but didn't deliver any real insurance coverage. Recently, the Republicans have been accusing the president of failing to keep his promises, because insurance companies have been canceling those "scam" policies instead of bringing them up to meet basic coverage requirements.

The GOP ignores the fact that at least half of those people with those cancelled policies will be able to get better insurance policies at the same (or even less) cost, and those who will have to pay a little more will do so for policies that cover a lot more (and will actually pay for their medical expenses). They ignore this because their only aim is to hurt the president (even if they have to lie to do it). They don't care whether people have adequate insurance coverage or not.

Unfortunately, the media has swallowed those GOP lies -- not because they believe them to be true, but because it makes a good story (as does any "scandal", whether true or not).

Now the Democrats could have stayed together and stood firm -- backing up the president and protecting the health care reform, especially since it is the biggest achievement they have had since 2008. But they didn't. They gave in (just like they have too many times during this president's terms). And to prevent many Democrats from abandoning him and supporting the GOP effort to damage Obamacare (any way they can), the president has now given in too. He now says the insurance companies will be allowed to continue those "scam" policies for another year if they want.

The crazy part is that the insurance industry wasn't asking for this -- only the GOP (who's only intent is to hurt the president and his party). They had made arrangements to comply with Obamacare, and are really unhappy with the president over this. Their trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans, said Thursday morning:

"Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace. If now, fewer younger and healthier people choose to purchase coverage in the exchange, premiums will increase and there will be fewer choices for consumers. Additional steps must be taken to stabilize the marketplace and mitigate the adverse impact on consumers."

This gives the Republicans exactly what they wanted. It makes Obamacare look more like an unworkable insurance reform, and it makes the Democrats look weak (because they won't even defend their own reform). And that's sad. The Democrats had an advantage as we get closer to next year's elections, but they are giving that advantage away. The fact is that voters don't like candidates or parties that they perceive as being weak -- and that's just how the Democrats have paired themselves with this latest retreat. I'm sure they probably think they are helping themselves by doing this, but they are not.


  1. Ted, sorry, I feel your pain, but you're flailing! Even the most devout Democrats cannot continue for ever shutting their eyes, jumping up and down with their fingers in their ears whilst shouting 'la-la-la-la-la'. Forgive my crudity - unusual for me but in this instance nothing else will serve - but 'Obamacare is not just a 'clusterfuck', it is a monstrous, cataclysmic, mega-cluster of clusterfucks! The Three Stooges of yesteryear could not have come up with something as totally crackpot and incompetent as this broken-down contraption. The only, very slight, comfort you have is that the Republicans have as yet to come up with an alternative solution. But on the other hand they don't have to yet, they can just sit like a mass choir and sing "We tried to warn you about these lying liars" to the American people and then wait for the Democrat massacre at next year's mid-terms!

    1. But the Republicans have come up with a plan. They are the ones that came up with Obamacare.

    2. Oh dear, now you really are clutching at straws as the storm gathers. If it was all a Republican idea why did not one single Congressional Republican vote for it?

      Of course, as 'The Kraut' points out in today's WaPo, there is more than just Obamacare at stake. If this monster scheme crashes, not just the computer side of it but also the insurance side, then socialist democracy as advocated by the Left will be set back for decades.

    3. I'm not clutching at straws at all. The plan was devised by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, and supported by Republican senators as an alternative to Hillary Clinton's plan back in the 90's. It was even put forward and signed into law in Massachusetts by a Republican governor. It was not until President Obama supported it (in an attempt to make health reform a bipartisan effort) that the GOP began to not like it.

      And there is nothing "socialist" about Obamacare, since it leaves the private insurance companies in charge of the health care of most Americans. I wish they had gone with a socialist single-payer plan. It would have made a lot more sense.


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