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Monday, October 24, 2016

WASHINGTON — As the end of 2013 approaches, seldom has a domestic issue so dominated the political center stage as Obamacare did this year. The president’s health care insurance law has ridden a policy rollercoaster and will still have a huge question mark hanging over it in 2014.

From the very start of Obama’s presidency, the Republicans in Congress took dead aim at what became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Obama was able to get it enacted only with solid Democratic support in 2010, while his party was still in control of both the House and Senate.

Thereafter, the Republicans looked to the Supreme Court to declare the law unconstitutional, but were surprised and disappointed when Chief Justice John Roberts led a 5-4 decision upholding it. After recovering from that blow, Republicans set out to “repeal and replace” the law, which they hoped to stigmatize by attaching the president’s name to it, with considerable success.

In 2012, Obamacare became a battle cry in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, despite the fact that the health care law he enacted as governor of Massachusetts was a model for it. That reality made Romney a poor pitchman against the federal version, and Obama was re-elected. He seemed home free on the single most significant and hard-won legislative victory of his first term.

Still the Republican opposition continued, with party orators from the noisy Tea Party wing leading the fight against the law. But the naysayers miscalculated this year in allowing the 16-day government shutdown over the budget. Polls consistently blamed the Republicans, and Obama appeared to be coasting toward the new year with the wind at his back.

But then, like some ghost out of the political past, Obamcare came rushing back as an issue with its calamitous rollout failure, fanning new life into the opposition.

All through the president’s successful re-election campaign and thereafter, he had been busy touting the act’s benefits and castigating its opponents as bearers of inaccurate information about how the law would work. Suddenly, the tables were turned on him as he was caught overselling parts of it. His oft-quoted line — that if you liked the insurance plan you had, you could keep it — backfired on him. Insured Americans started receiving cancelation notices from insurers whose plans did not meet ACA standards.

Obama found himself scrambling to assure them that they could qualify for better coverage at less cost, a claim that he was hard-pressed to justify. Obamacare foes were thrown a lifeline with which to resurrect their opposition.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    All this continuing effort will be for not. The number of folks newly covered will only point too the folly of the opposition.

  • docb

    Gnashing of teeth and lying have become the only things that the repub baggers have…Everything has fallen apart for them..

    Heads exploding…on the right.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Thanks for the link. Great article about GOP/Teaparty reckless policies.

  • Bill Thompson

    The Republican media campaign against Obamacare has been incredibly successful. Obamacare is synonymous with failure and blame for anything that goes wrong in the insurance system. Even with Republicans shutting down the government and looking like blithering idiots on national television has been brushed aside by the media at this point. Why because the Democrats do not get on the mic and bash back or take a offensive stance against anything the Republicans have screwed up on. After seeing all my family and in-laws the holidays it is clear that the Republicans are winning this battle. Many of my left leaning family have joined the fray against Obamacare. Case in point my brother-in-law works for New York City in the prison system. They have worked without a contract for four years in essence no money has gone into health care whatsoever. His union recently announced that they will no longer cover prescription they can no longer afford it. This development coinciding with the implementation of Obamacare in my brother-in-law’s view, obamacare is the reason he lost his prescription drug insurance. I calmly asked the question, so the fact that no money has been put into your health insurance in four years has nothing to do with this. In his mind the regulation under Obamacare to not allow insurance companies to cap People’s prescription drug expenses is the reason, in part this may be true. But what also is true no money has gone into a system that has increased in price for four years straight.

    Again I ask where is the democratic leadership when do we get to see them on television bashing Republicans or defending what’s going on Obamacare. The Democratic leadership response is mute. Remember the best defense is a strong offense. This needs to stop.

    • Independent1

      We really do need to get some Dems out there besides Elizabeth Warren fighting for what the Dems stand for. And, we need to get rid of a number of Dems that are more red than blue. There’s absolutely no justification for Dems bowing to the nonsense being spewed by the Repubs – standing up and publicly criticizing Obamcare. The only reason I can see that it’s happening is because in some purple states, voters have elected DINOs; representatives who are Democrats in name only and are often voting with the Republicans more than the Democrats.

  • daniel bostdorf

    Yeah–the ACA-affordable care act–roll out was a dismal flop. Thanks to
    GOP related Canadian firms involved with setting up the website to
    begin with. Secretary Sibelius should have resigned over this complete
    lack of oversight.

    The ACA is now on its way of becoming the best healthcare system ever introduced to this country. We have had it in Masachusetts, and it is working very, very well for us.

    The Democrats response to GOP strategy has been tempered with caution….The Republican media campaign against Obamacare has been incredibly well orchestrated long before the botched roll out…

    Why is this an organized strategy? GOP/Teaparty has no clue about how to run this
    country…so attack Obama at every opportunity at the expenses of the American people.

    Did you read the dead on article at NY Times last November about the intentional sabotage and tactics to disrupt the ACA? Article titled: G.O.P. Maps Out Waves of Attacks Over Health Law


    I do not believe that it it is in the best interest for any Democratic politician (or this country) to get into the GOP gutter of mud slinging and blown out of proportion rhetorically reckless bombastice speeches… I do not support statements like: “because the Democrats do not get on the mic and bash back or take a offensive stance against anything the Republicans have screwed up on.”

    What Democratic leaders, (responsible ones are doing) is giving the President necessary time to repair the damage done, free from back stabbing and loose lip statements from other Democrats.

    This is not the time for grabbing the microphone and stooping to the low level of the GOP/Teaparty by doing a “tit for tat” incindiary speech.

    The American people know bombastic rhetoric is counterproductive to calmly and rationally allowing time for the ACA to get fully implemented, warts and all.

    We do not need a “best defense is a strong offense” approach. Too many war and football analogies only polarize the civil discourse.

    We have had enough of this uncivil and unAmerican discourse.

    • jmprint

      I agree and disagree, if all the public hears are the rambling of the republicans and no word from the democrats who are they going to believe? Every time a republican opens their mouth and a lie comes out a democrat should be there with a fly swatter, swatting their wagging tongue, so that people can see the truths.

      • daniel bostdorf

        I agree in responding—but—I believe in a measured response free from bombastic rhetoric….

        By the way…I watch 8 news programs everyday both left, right and bull on CNN…and have seen Democrats responding…even on Sunday news shows…

        So where is this view they are not responding?

        Because they are not screaming out loud like the right wing zealots?

        • jmprint

          If they are starting to respond now good, lately I only get to see the evening news and some of the Sunday morning, but still as soon as a lie is blurting it should be dowsed.

          • daniel bostdorf

            Ok—I keep mind open regarding “equal response”…and really appreciate your civility in posting…have a great new year ahead …

    • Bill Thompson

      I to wish it could be the way you described but that time is gone, today the Democrats get beat up on every level every day it’s unrelenting. Standing by and say nothing is not a strategy unless losing a strategy. Sorry if that sounds like a football reference. The late great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said you are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts and he called people out on there lies. I also don’t believe the rhetoric should be blown out of proportion but the lies need to be exposed, it’s not happening. Just for clarity we are on the same side but we have been doing it your way for five years, were not making much headway. Gaining the house has little chance and losing the Senate is very much a possibility in 2016. I think we need to change gears. Respectfully Bill

  • John Boehner after losing the fight to defund Obamacare….

    John was heard saying after the fight;
    “Pour me some wine and get me a light!”
    In an office so roomy,
    His mood it was gloomy
    Even his tan seemed less bright


    • daniel bostdorf


  • sparky086

    My Uncle Harrison recently got Infiniti Q50
    Sedan from only workin part time on a home computer… go to this website

    • daniel bostdorf


  • Bryan Blake

    Witcover’s final paragraph accurately sums up the fight over Obamacare/ACA. But I would add that we no longer have the Democratic Party that should be fighting for the ACA and the interest of we the middle class, working poor, seniors, the poor and the disabled. We now have the DLCcrats versus the GOP. They have transformed the former Democratic Party from a center-left party into a center-right party that is almost as beholden to the rich and corporate interests as is the GOP. I have become a Left Leaning Independent. Former President Reagan would probably be much more at home in the DLCcratic Party of today rather than the current GOP. Most of my working life I was a small business owner so I am not anti-capitalism. I just find myself disgusted by the current form we are plagued by. The game is rigged against We The People in order to protect the rich and ultra-rich and limit their fair share of contributions to the general welfare of our society and economy. Our labor is considered to have no value in the economy and the social safety net is considered to be an out sized expense to the Capitalist Class. That is why the Brothers Koch and their ilk are pouring untold millions into the GOP war against the ACA and their unrelenting effort to vilify President Obama. Although the ACA was originally a Heritage foundation idea Heritage has moved so far to the conservative fringe that they now reject their own idea.

    Once again we are at critical junction in American history. Will our country be pulled into the clutches of the extreme right or will the center-left prevail and keep us on a path that will allow for the prosperity of all?

    The next President should be someone who can channel FDR! The next Democratic presidential nominee should not be a DLCcrat, but instead should be an Old School Democrat. If not our country shall continue to be sucked into the vortex of the extreme Libertarianism of the GOP financed by the Nefarious Billionaires Club!

  • howa4x

    Cruz said one thing right, that is, once people get insurance they won’t want to give it up. That is the republican conundrum. They have yet to offer an alternative that is viable. The democrats will just say that now the website has no problems and enrollments are clicking along, do you want the republicans to take away your insurance? This is really a race against the clock for republicans. How many signups before the mid terms?
    The other glowing issue the republicans have to deal with is that 25 states refused to accept the Medicaid expansion denying coverage to approx. 5 million people. Democrats will highlight that and say this is what the republicans want to do to everyone. Plus how many children will face hunger form the food stamp cuts. How many will show up at hospitals under nourished. Before Republicans can mount a serious attack they have to defend their actions, like the unemployment extension denial. Issues like this will bring into sharper focus the income inequality debate. One which the donors of both parties don’t want to have. So Republicans don’t have an easy task in front of them.

  • TresAmigos78

    It’s important to remember that Obamacare is designed to deny health care to older, mostly conservative people.

    • jmprint

      Really what age is older, 50, 60, 70, 80 or 100?

    • daniel bostdorf

      Back your statement up with facts, not Fox News propaganda please.

  • George Allegro

    In this related video we find Hussein Obama lying to the face of the American people about keeping their insurance and their doctor:

    • daniel bostdorf

      Right wing troll spreading lies and Fox News propaganda.

      Republicans Are Betting on a Losing Strategy in 2014


    • jmprint

      SO! What, is this all you got? Let fix the problem with the insurance companies, the system is broken, pay now or pay later, but stop pouting. Can we go forward, YOU GUYS ALREADY LOST on Let’s make OBAMA a one term president. Get over it and get to work.

  • Defend Liberty

    That truth of the matter is that Hussein Obama is a liar, a fraud, and a fool.