Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Train
It’s a train wreck.
Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana),  comment on Obamacare at  Congressional Hearing
Think of Obamacare as a big lumbering freight train.   President Obama is its chief engineer and Democrats are its crew.  The train,  full of 2700 pages of freight,  known as the Patient Protection and Affordability Act,  is scheduled to reach the government departure station on October 1, 2013. Obama and his crew feel that once the train leaves the station, there will be no stopping it.  It’s the law and laws are immutable, indisputable, and irrefutable.

Think of the Republicans as guerillas riding ahead of the train, planting explosives to derail the train before and even after it reaches the station.   In the guerillas’ minds, the train carries unworkable and unaffordable tons of freight. This freight will bog down the economy and threaten the liberties of the American people.  They seek to stop the train before it reaches the station and then to keep it in the station before it wrecks American health care system and the American economy.

The guerillas’ leaders are split on how to derail the train – to fully defund it at the risk of government shutdown or to partially defund it and not to shut down the government.  Shutting down the government would be Obama's decision, not theirs, bt the GOP would get the blame. President Obama is a master at the blame game.  Options include:  asking for a one year delay in requiring individuals to buy health insurance, pressing the Administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and demanding cuts or changes in Medicare and Medicaid. The other alternative, perhaps the most realistic, is to let ObamaCare proceed, and succeed on its merits or fail on its flaws.

The Republican’s problem for stopping the train are three fold:  one, the GOP guerillas lack a unified strategy; two, they have no agreed upon leader; three, the threat of a government shutdown is terrifying politically because it is unpopular, even though 57% of Americans favor defunding ObamaCare.

Jim Demint,  former Republican senator from South Carolina, now President of the Heritage Foundation,   argues as follows in a August 9 Wall Street Journal article, “The Only Way to Stop Obamacare Is to Cut Off Funding."

“ObamaCare will destroy the private-insurance market, incentivize businesses to cancel current health coverage for their employees, create physician shortages, and force Americans and states into total dependency on the federal government. After all that, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the free market to resurrect a private health-care system built on doctor/patient decision-making.”
“So the fight to stop ObamaCare now is an urgent matter. Elected leaders in both parties should summon the courage to put their political futures on the line, because the future of America is truly on the line. Politicians who oppose ObamaCare should not vote to fund it. Those who want a socialized health-care system should vote to fund it. There is no middle ground and no place to hide.”
The current GOP  House strategy for stopping the train wreck is to fund the government through  mid-December while forcing the Senate to vote on defunding Obamacare. The idea is to put Democrats on record as favoring Obamacare and to tie the health care law to the budget battles but to keep the government running.
Tweet:    Obamacare has been compared to a train wreck.  Democrats seek to keep the wreck running; Republicans want to stop it before it wrecks.

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