What if Republicans continue their internal squabbles over this and that as we look forward to the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare?
We run the very significant risk of losing the lead even with our majority and of helping, as the result, to cement ObamaCare in place as the national health care plan. There are only so many times at bat, especially in this Congress.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) took the chance of us, the conservatives, losing control of this process, but his effort appeared to have a positive effect, at least for a day or two. Various people have raised various issues since that point and there seems a very real possibility that Republicans will become unable to bring their majority together. It has to be tempting to try for just one more change, but there will come a point where that “one more change” will result in the complete inability of Republicans to reach an agreement.
There are, as has been pointed out, schisms that seem one day to have been resolved, only to have reappeared more vividly by the next day or two. It seems that one person senses he or she might score some points if a moment is seized and if a point is pressed. Then someone else has the same ‘aha’ moment on a different ‘issue’ and it is back to the drawing board.
In the meantime, the Dems sit back with big smiles on their faces as they watch the seemingly feckless Republicans flirt with political disaster yet again. Dems have no need to invest political capital at this time. They need only to sit back and watch and to try to not utter something that would make Republicans coalesce around the ‘final plan’. They are quite willing to “give the Republicans enough rope with which to hang themselves” figuratively speaking, and so far that seems a pretty good way to proceed if you’re a Democrat.
Republicans have no vote they can afford to lose. Sen. McCain (R-AZ) needs to have healed from his surgery and returned for the vote, or the Dems will win since they are completely unified, if in name only. If his healing process takes longer than might be expected, there is the risk that the next “shiny object” will have taken the spotlight and health care reform will have been shunted off to some little-remembered corner in the Senate cloakroom.
I imagine that Republican leadership has been bending a lot of Republican ears in this situation, but there is no evident resolution to the problem, at least that has seen the light of day. Noone quite has a fix on just how many more steps will prove to have been the move that broke the back of the Republican majority.
We do have one splinter group of the more conservative Republicans that could effectively torpedo this effort in one fell swoop. There are individual mavericks who could make that choice, as well. Mavericks tend to be long-time Senate members with a proven voter approval records. They tend to see themselves as ‘saviors’ of their party who might just need to make their point even if not appreciated at that particular moment in time.
I fear that ‘saviors’ can become the enemy of the common good since they only have to endure the wrath of their fellow members and not necessarily the wrath of their voters. There is a huge difference in the pressures exerted. When you’ve been elected and re-elected to several six-year terms, you can easily see yourself as the one indispensable member and to believe you must be right or you’d not have continued to be re-elected. That has to be a tough member to control or even to move slightly.
Are we seeing that term limits, either written into law or self-imposed, the answer…or one of the answers? I suspect that would tend to make believers of many more members…but, of course, that would need be approved and would take the agreement of the mavericks so chances might be poor.
By the way, among the issues under-reported in this debacle are the number of states with no insurers participating or with very limited choices of insurers, such as one, participating in ObamaCare. Had we a robust, middle-of-the-road mainstream media, we’d have been hearing all the bad news…really bad news… that exists regarding ObamaCare. It is a disaster; it is in what the industry calls a death spiral where premiums cannot be increased fast enough across a broad number of insured members to offset the losses incurred. And, interestingly enough, the promises made by the federal government to the insurers that they’d be made whole if they were subjected to adverse losses have been forgotten.
The continuing insurers today tend to be smaller less-than-statewide insurers that have only recently been created. They have nowhere near the financial staying power of an Aetna that has already been forced to leave this marketplace. The country needs what the Republicans are proposing for ObamaCare reform, but forget the Democrats taking up that mantra.
This is but another example of politics taking precedence over what would’ve been better for the public, and there is no mainstream press sufficiently balanced in viewpoints to bring that news to the fore.
We will just have to sit back and watch. At the least, the final ‘solution’ will not likely be voted into law at “O-Dark Thirty” as was the case in Nancy Pelosi’s world a few short years ago…when there was still an insurance marketplace in every state. One might not have thought that marketplace so fragile as to not be able to withstand ObamaCare, but we have seen that was a terribly wrong assumption. Remember where this slippery slope originated…with 100% Democrat votes and with nothing but a half-baked set of working notes versus a really solidly built workable law.
Thanks, Dems and former President Barack Obama!