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  •  Did it occur to you that Democrats and Obama (6+ / 0-)

    were not making a mistake, they were trying to help people who couldn't afford insurance get healthcare?

    There was always going to be partisanship.  What never should be allowed is outright sabotage.  That is what Republicans have tried to accomplish.  It is dispicable.

    In any sane society, they would be ostracized.

    In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

    by Sixty Something on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:16:53 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I said the mistake would have been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      in expecting Republicans to help in the implementation, not in passing the bill in the first place.  Of course, if you really believe that this bill is going to be a really good thing for the country, and if you can't get the other side to support it, I would expect you to pass it on a partisan basis.  What I am saying is that when you do that, part of the deal is that after it's passed, you get no support from the opposition, and part of the deal is that the opposition has no interest in making something that they opposed successful, and part of the deal is that the opposition will blame you for everything that goes wrong.  I'm sure the Administration would not have chosen that route, but they had no other option.  So they did what they had to do to pass the ACA.  I'm just saying that they then certainly expected Republicans to oppose the implementation every single step of the way.  It would have been illogical to expect anything else.  

      Of course the Republicans were going to do whatever they legally could do to make sure that the bill was not going to be a success.  The Administration clearly knew that and clearly should have planned the implementation based on that assumption.  I suspect that what they may not have factored into their plans when they passed the bill is that the Republicans took back the House in 2010 and were in a better position to try to   throw roadblocks in the way.  

      •  A Few Things to Keep in Mind (7+ / 0-)

        1. That no Republicans voted for the ACA isn't a reflection of Democratic inability to attract GOP votes, but the determination of the GOP to block ANY health care reform bill.  If you have any doubt that it was not the bill itself but the OPPOSITION TO IT which was partisan,read more here.

        2. The vote for Medicare Part D was 220-215 in the House, identical to the ACA.  16 Dems voted for it, 189 against.  That is pretty close to total opposition.

        3.  As it was, Part D only passed because of an extending voting period, on-floor vote buying that resulted in a reprimand for Tom Delay. On top of the that, the White House withheld its true budget forecast from Congress, with then Medicare chief Tom Scully threatening to fire actuary Richard Foster if he made public his much higher forecast.

        4.  Medicare Part D used "navigators," including many of the same organizations as Obamacare.  So, if you're in Texas and need help enrolling in Medicare, just call.  If you need help getting health insurance, you're SOL.

        5.  If you can find another case where a modern U.S. political party acted to sabotage the law of the land at both the federal and state level, I'd love to hear it.

        And yet for all that, Democrats helped make Part D work.  Republicans are still trying to blow up the ACA.

        •  And the Mandate Was Republican Idea... (5+ / 0-)

          ...as Senator Orrin Hatch, co-sponsored it in 1993, would be only too happy to tell you.

          •  Sure, all that is true. Doesn't change anything. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            Maybe you think Republicans SHOULD have supported it, but they didn't.

            Political reality is political reality.  When the bill passed with no Republican support, when all Republicans became invested in the notion that the ACA would result in all those horrible things (if you listened to what they were saying), it was clear that, during implementation was going to be opposed by Republicans every step of the way.  

            I'm NOT saying that was good or right.  I AM saying that the Administration had no reason to think Republicans would do anything else, because that is the political reality of the situations.  Practically speaking, Republicans will benefit politically (and will get none of the blame) if the ACA is a disaster, Democrats will benefit politically (and Republicans get none of the credit) if the ACA is a huge success.  You can argue that it SHOULDN'T be that way, that both parties should share in both the credit if it goes well and the blame if it does not, but practically speaking, that's not going to happen.    

            •  What I Arguing is: (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lookit, KenBee, earicicle, smartdemmg

              ...that GOP sabotage of the ACA at all levels of government is unprecedented.  It is not a matter of politics as usual.  

              1. What the Republicans are doing is unprecedented in modern American politics.  They aren't merely "doing nothing," but actively obstructing implementation of a law passed by Congress and signed by the President.

              2. They are actively preventing their constituents from accessing services approved by the government.  Again, if you have another recent example of a political party doing likewise, I'd love to hear it.

              3. Many Republicans were very clear in 2009 and 2010 that they opposed health care reform not because it would fail, but because it would succeed. That is, they were explicit that health care reform success wasn't bad for America and Americans, but for the Republican Party.  Again, you can read more about it here:

              "The Real Reason for the GOP's All Out War on Obamacare."

              4. Please note that the 2009 stimulus bill got a grand total of 3 GOP votes. Nevertheless, dozens of GOP Senators and Reps lobbied to get money for their districts.

              5. By the way, the 1993 Clinton tax hike got exactly zero GOP votes in Congress.  In 2009, Bill Kristol explained why in telling Republicans to vote against the stimulus bill:

              "But the loss of credibility, even if they jam it through, really hurts them on the next, on the next piece of legislation. Clinton got through his tax increases in '93, it was such a labor and he had to twist so many arms to do it and he became so unpopular...

              ...That it made, that it made it so much easier to then defeat his health care initiative. So, it's very important for Republicans who think they're going to have to fight later on on health care, fight later on maybe on some of the bank bailout legislation, fight later on on all kinds of issues. It's very important for them, I think, not just to stay united at this time, though that's important, but to make the arguments."

              •  And my point is that there is no precedent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                either way.

                This is the first bill this huge -- that affects virtually everyone in the country and alters the structure of a 15 - 20% of the economy when it's fully implemented-- to pass with absolutely no support whatsoever from one political party.  

                A tax hike where you essentially just raise marginal rates takes no implementation.  You don't NEED any cooperation to implement.   You don't have to write a book of regulations.     The ACA was always going be a huge project to (1) write the applicable regulations; and (2) implement.  Not like a tax hike.  Not. At. All.

                The ACA is more on the scale of passing Social Security or Medicare or the prescription drug program.  All of those required implementation (perhaps not even as much as the ACA).  None of those was passed solely on the votes of one political party.

                So, there's no real precedent, one way or the other.

                •  It's to the right edge w/coffeetalk...Squirrel! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  myboo

                  The diarist has laid out the parallels clearly. Except he has understated how badly botched the transition was of more than SIX MILLION elderly and disabled dual eligibles from nonprofit, single-payer Medicaid drug insurance to for-profit, 45-private-plans-per-state Medicare Part D insurance. Poor people who had medication they needed to live on Dec 31 could not get it on Jan 1. The months leading up to the 'transition' were chaos, with accurate information on how to make choices impossible to get. Which was especially hard for the large percentage of the dual eligible population without HS diplomas, or with dementia and/or severe cognitive disabilities. It is a clear, highly relevant precedent, no matter how many shiny objects and furry rodents you fling to the right of the thread, as per usual.

                  The Part D transition was so much more badly botched. Many of the most vulnerable, sick and desperately poor Americans had their health immediately and seriously endangered. Many businesses were thrown into utter chaos, and lost substantial money. The program remains a headache and a boondoggle to this day.

                  My pharmacies simply issued me my scripts without charge. They knew I needed my medicine, and that I had no way to pay the retail cost. As far as I know, they were never reimbursed by anyone. I suspect the pharmacist at one place may have lost his job because he chose the lives of his patients over his company's bottom line.

                  Oh, and taxpayers continue to get hosed every single year, to the tune of multiple billions of dollars. Medicaid used to pay rock bottom prices for dual eligibles' meds, b/c Medicaid has strong negotiating power. One of the biggest boondoggles in Bush's Part D giveaway: Giving away the now 8 million dual eligibles to Part D. Taxpayers pay the premiums, and the non-negotiable, full retail prices for the same drugs, for a population that needs a lot of meds. Congrats!

                  Of course, you know all about all, all the time, coffeetalk. So you knew this already. Right?

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:15:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  The "monkey wrench analogy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lencialoo

                One of the definitions of a saboteur is:  "One who throws a monkey wrench into the machinery so it won't work."

                This is the mindset of these obstructionists who blatantly wished and still wish to botch everything geared to improve the lot of this country"s people.  

                Hard to believe lawmakers in the United States of America have stooped so low as to sabotage their own nation.

                I understand the House is scheduled to work a whopping 112 days for the next session.  Where is the outrage from the citzenry?

                •  . (0+ / 0-)
                  Hard to believe lawmakers in the United States of America have stooped so low as to sabotage their own nation.
                  And yet it had to come to this.  On January 20, 2009, as Obama was giving his inauguration address, high ranking Republicans met at a restaurant.  They were glum as the meeting began but walked out with a spring in their steps.  In between they had decided to simply say no, no, no to anything and everything this president tried to do.  Even if the measure had originally been proposed by a Republican - the answer would be, "No."

                  This, like so much else of this administration, was unprecedented.  Gee, I wonder why they thought they could get away with it during THIS administration as opposed to that of any other president . . . .

        •  And yet for all that (0+ / 0-)
          Democrats helped make Part D work.  Republicans are still trying to blow up the ACA.
          And the latest is *drumroll*: It is being whispered that, if Boehner finally agrees to bring the unemployment benefit extension to the floor it will only be because he has attached an amendment to repeal Obamacare.  Then he can bluster and blunder and blame Obama for vetoing the UI extension.

          Beam me up, Scotty.  There's no intelligent life on this planet.

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