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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks alongside Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (R) and other Americans the White House says will benefit from the opening of health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, in the Rose Garden
While the "keep your health insurance" skirmishes are playing out in Congress, there's still a larger war being waged, the one in which Republicans are trying to kill Obamacare and deny health insurance coverage to millions. Because they have a very short timeframe in which to do so—once it takes full effect in Janary, undoing it will be next to impossible.
Underlying fierce Republican efforts to stop President Obama’s health care law and the White House drive to save it is a simple historical reality: Once major entitlement programs get underway, they quickly become embedded in American life. And then they grow.

That makes the battle over the Affordable Care Act more consequential than most Washington political fights. “If it’s in place for six months, it will be impossible to repeal it or change it in ways that significantly reduce the benefits,” said Robert D. Reischauer, a Democrat who used to lead the Congressional Budget Office.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, another former C.B.O. director, reflects the concern of fellow Republicans in framing the stakes more dramatically. Either the law’s health insurance exchanges “can’t cut it,” he explained, or “it’s Katie, bar the door—we have an explosively growing new program.”

Obamcare is not an entitlement. It doesn't begin to compare with Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security in structure or universality for the population it serves. It's also a not bad at all deal for private insurance; they play by a few new rules, they get a ton of new customers. The ACA is not an entitlement, but a combination of extremely necessary regulatory reform and tax credits. But that new program should grow explosively, because it is so desperately needed.

That need, once Obamacare is fully implemented (provided it is successfully implemented), will make the law a success. Democrats should have faith in that. It's what Republicans have been certain of from the beginning. That's why they've worked so hard to try to kill it. Right now, making it work is the most important thing any Democrat can do. That's for their own political future, and more importantly for the sake of their constituents.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 03:39 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 03:39:18 PM PST

  •  TGOPers were sent to do nothing; they can lie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobatkinson, PhilK

    All they want because that's what they do.

    They aren't going to fix anything because they were sent to wreck everything. Too bad their voters are stupid & evil & vote.

    Thanks for the info, Joan.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 03:59:26 PM PST

  •  Speakin of Tepubs and Tech Issues (0+ / 0-)

    Oh Noooooooo's, technical problems?, who woulda guessed with all this 'smart' technology and the private companies building it with the highly educated only ones that can!!

    Technical issue with state-wide program causes report card delay for CMS

    Quick, somebody contact Issa so's he can hold a congressional hearing to get to the bottom of this, obviously it can't be done in state, and he soooo loves holding hearings on these issues!!

    This is only the latest in a slew of problems NC is having with other issues and related to technology in all forms!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 04:09:16 PM PST

  •  Well, with the good insurance mandate... (0+ / 0-)

    going away, by the President; Who knows if the rest can stand to scrutiny, or if everyone will flock to these cheaper policies (that aren't insurance, but they don't know that).

    •  Keep the crappy policy, but don't expect to trade (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it in all of a sudden when you find it won't cover what you actually need

      I am NOT in favor of helping the idiots who keep their crappy policies....NO ACA for you

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:09:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If it's not an entitlement . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and I agree it's not, then I don't see the great political benefit for Democrats.  Or the basis for the Republicans' fear (although they're not rational, so they don't need one).

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:07:19 AM PST

  •  It doesn't compare to Medicare or universality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, PhilK

    that's the problem.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:08:43 AM PST

  •  Agreed. I picked a plan last week after (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, tofumagoo, DSPS owl

    a couple of weeks researching. I gave in and secured a navigator. Wow, was that wise. I am in NY, small business owner with bronze equivalent now. Current deductible for spouse and self is just short of $12,000 per year. No dental. The ACA plan we chose is "gold primary select.". Our monthly premiums will go up from about $650 to about $850, including dental. Deductible for spouse and self will be $500. We spend about $2000 per year toward our deductible anyway. It is simple math. We do not qualify for any subsidies. In sum, we are very happy. The way our premium increases were coming each year, we would have hit $850 per month in the near future anyway with an increased deductible. There are many additional benefits, such as zero co-pays to our primary. FYI we went with Health Republic.

    Mix the blood and make new people!

    by Yonkers Boy on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:18:32 AM PST

  •  GOP still ambitiously dreams of repealing New Deal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reginahny, tardis10

    ...let alone Obamacare.  Paul Ryan exemplifies the hard-core conservative ambition to incrementally demolish the New Deal right back to its foundations via what amounts to a repeal-and-replace strategy, where the replacements are nothing more than glorified private pension plans and private (sans Obamacare enhancements) health insurance in place of medicare.  The demolition of the New Deal infrastructure is to be accomplished by transitioning the residue of these programs into means-tested aka welfare programs, which they plan to scale down over time into something more like the eligible pool for the food-stamp program, which they can then attack as being infested with young bucks driving cadillacs to the supermarket to purchase T-bone steaks with gubbmint-provided money.

    •  Republicans can't hurt the New Deal (0+ / 0-)

      They don't have to. A large part of the Democratic Party, including ALL the party leadership, appears very eager to do it for them.

      See the vote on fast-tracking the TTP New Deal killer: Every Democrat in a leadership position voted to ram it down our throat with no discussion whatsoever.

  •  So why do they fight it? (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is that this is an uneasy alliance between unnatural allies.

    The insurance companies can conceivably come out ahead on the deal, but if they support it they are faced with the prospect of continued Democratic success--and they fear the regulations to come even more than those that are in the current bill.  There might be some new scheme they can implement next year if the GOP takes back the controls.
    Schizophrenia...Can't support Obama even if he's giving out Halloween Candy.

    Meanwhile the Kochs and the haters want the program to fail at any cost. Their stupid campaign to discourage young people from enrolling is economic disaster to their erstwhile allies in the insurace industry.

    They both dump money to numb the brains of people who need this program desperately. And those folks vote against their own self interest.

  •  Dkos may be talking fix it now... (0+ / 0-)

    but they haven't abandoned their anti-Obama war. All the breathless posts about "the fix is good", "the fix is political" et al ad nauseum -- anything aside from "stand strong for once, have a spine for once, let the ONE MONTH ripples work themselves out" etc. This place is a mess. Oh noeeees! Elventy!!!!! Oh no!!!! it's been 30 days! It's over, it's awful.

    Luckily this community won't be determining the 2014 elections, but if they had any influence I'd definitely wonder about the site's purported pupose (that elect democrats thing).

  •  I fell asleep late with MSNBC on, which means I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    woke up with it on (note to self: don't do that), which means I got to hear some ®epublican housebag from Cali named McCarthy (I think) pretty much claim that if Democrats had only listened to them and delayed Obamacare then none of these problems would have happened.  

    ALL of the establishment elephants are starting their "Jump The Teabag" shift to 2014; they're going to claim they'd been trying for months and years -- 43 times and counting -- to fix it (without, of course, mentioning they've been doing everything possible to break it) and now that it's running smoothly, dear public, if you'd only listened to us earlier you'd all be swimming in healthcare heaven right now.

    They know Obamacare's gonna work so they're hitching themselves to that train... and they'll leave the Baggers behind in the process.

    But then I haven't yet had coffee so I'm probably just talking out my arse :)

    [exception: null object]

    by here4tehbeer on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:45:37 AM PST

  •  Open and real question... (0+ / 0-)

    This morning at coffee (FYI.. I live in Steve Kings CD... ick), There were a couple of casual comments that are at the heart of efforts to destruct the ACA.  Suggestions on staying friendly but rebutting these effectively?

    First...   "Obamacare is going to cause us such a pile of paperwork, and wont gain us anything.  

    My soft reply was that Obamacare is just a restructuring of a system to access policies of private insurance groups, under legal guidelines, and therefore shouldn't be greatly different from how current holders of private insurance, like the "blues" etc., and as such shouldn't be a dramatic (if any) real change--once folks are signed up.

    Second...  The comment that Dr. XXXX, Jr.  (the long-term prominent rural physician and son of Dr. XXXX, Sr. whose family dominates the medical community in the County here) said that if Obamacare goes forth he an loads upon loads of other Doctors, not to mention nurses and other medical personnel will bolt the system and leave medicine, and where will we be then!

    To that I say, well, what will they do then that will yield them the lucrative income that they have invested a lifetime being trained for and all.  And again, it is PRIVATE INSURANCE companies we are talking about.  


    Now, it ticks the crap out of me that people, mostly conservorepubs, including Dr. Jr., are spewing scare language that is tough to rebut, socially.  Yes I tried, and the conversation just sortof changed.  I have long felt that the ACA was not explained or championed sufficiently, but I also know that this morning's coffee convo was exactly illustrative of barriers to explain the boring intricacies of the law.  Oh yes, and damn it, get the website working..  now.   Make this work and give me ammo to rebut scared people and the ideas that have been planted in their minds.  


  •  Democrats should have faith in that (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, we should just wait it out.  I understand why Landrieu had to mess things up by introducing a bill which validated the 'canceled plan' problem.  She has an election to win in a conservative state.  But Merkley?  I was not aware that Oregon was a bastion of conservative tradition, like North Carolina and Arkansas.

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