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Thursday, October 20, 2016

While Republicans have been plotting about what to do with control of the U.S. Senate, they’re trying to ignore how the debate over Obamacare has now shifted to whether the law has “won” or is simply “winning.”

Some Republicans want to dull its sudden veneer of success by delaying any verdict about the law until 2023.

Though it will always be October of 2013 and will always be crashing in the heart of Senator Ted Crux (R-TX) and his followers, the prognosis for President Obama’s key legislative accomplishment has seen a remarkable reversal from six months ago, when the words “death spiral” were taken seriously.

A “death spiral” occurs in the insurance industry when low enrollment or adverse selection leads to skyrocketing prices. Thanks to how the law was written, such a spiral was never likely for Obamacare, even when it seemed like might never be fixed. And now it’s pretty much impossible.

Obamacare has nearly matched Romneycare’s signups in its share of young people who enrolled. It has exceeded the predictions of the Congressional Budget Office by a million signups with 8 million. At least 5 million more Americans now have Medicaid through expansion, which will continue to accept people all year long. And millions more Americans have gained coverage off the exchanges or through employers, as the individual mandate seems to be proven more effective than predicted. It’s not all we need to do to fix our bloated, absurd and cruel health care system — but it’s a valiant start.

The effects of the law will vary wildly state by state, with the states that are not trying sabotage it — shockingly! — doing a much better job of insuring their residents. But the only way Obamacare is going away is if a Republican president wins a landslide and decides his first act is to take health insurance away from the 22 million Americans expected to be covered by the exchanges in 2016 and tens of millions more on Medicaid and their parents’ plans.

Meanwhile, dust settling around the rollout of Obamacare is revealing a Republican Party that is terrifying Republican donors.

With the Republican Governors Association slowly morphing into a legal defense fund, funders look at the GOP’s 2016 field and see one candidate with a father promoting 9/11 truthers and another whose father defends “ex-gay therapy” because he thinks sexual orientation, unlike bigotry, is a choice.

No wonder these donors are drooling over someone whose father—especially when compared to his brother—was a pretty good president. Jeb Bush’s “optimism” and the fact that the GOP hasn’t won without a Bush on the ticket since 1972 make him the favorite of most of the people who spent millions to (not) elect Mitt Romney.

Jeb even says the right things about immigration reform. He thinks it’s an “act of love” but didn’t actually suggest that House Republicans vote on the bipartisan Senate bill that they’ve been ignoring for the better part of a year.

And for this dusting of bravery, he was mocked by Donald Trump and booed by a crowd of conservatives in the state where the first 2016 GOP primary will be held, New Hampshire.


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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Billie

    A “First Class Jerk” is Donald Trump.

  • Bill

    Just shows how stupid the GOP has become.

    • latebloomingrandma

      Crazy stupid, however, seems to win.

  • Dominick Vila

    The statements made routinely by so many Republicans are bizarre, but I would not bet a dime on their demise. Every Republican and most Independents I have talked to plan to vote Republican in November. Considering the fact that there are more Congressional seats open in contest in Red and purple states than those in blue states, the likelihood of the GOP increasing their majority in the House and getting control of the Senate in November is more than just speculation. It is almost a certainty. The only thing that may keep the Senate in Democratic hands is a massive turnout, and if history remains true, that is unlikely to happen in a midterm election. Republicans are motivated, energized, and seeking revenge. Democrats seem to be ambivalent, and still celebrating the 2012 presidential victory, unaware of the consequences of the GOP controlling both chambers of Congress.

    • edwardw69

      So what if they take control of the Senate? They would need 67 votes to override a presidential veto, and they won’t get them. Then, they would either have to compromise with Mr. Obama (not likely) or oversee gridlock until 2016. In the meantime, the Senate will be forced to consider the madness that passes for Bills coming out of the House.
      And in 2016, there will be many more Republican senate seats up for grabs than Democratic seats, with many in blue states. For one thing, they can kiss Pennsylvania good-bye.

      • Dominick Vila

        I agree with you about PA, in fact, the same is probably true for the entire Northeast, West Coast, and some Midwestern states. Unfortunately, the rest is all a red sea.

  • guest

    One thing is for sure. If the GOP take both house and senate, they will never be elected president and will most likely loose both in the next election because we all know what they will do while in control of everything. So, they would be better off waiting another couple of years – at this rate, there is no way it will be good for either the GOP or the American people. And I’m still not sure how Cruz can possibly run after his arguments against Obama running.