Sunday, October 26, 2014

Whither, Wither, Obama, ObamaCare

To what place? Where? To what end, point, action or the like? What place? To which place?


To dry up and shrink wilt, fade, or decay, to loss freshness of vitality.


With nine days left before midterms, I’ve been groping for words to describe President Obama’s and ObamaCare’s future. Two words came to me in the middle of the night, and they were Whither and wither.

Whither poses questions about the future. Wither describes the current state of affairs. The Democrat’s state of affairs at the moment look grim, with 64% to 87% of prediction models forecasting a GOP Senate victory, hinging on President Obama’s unpopularity with a 40% approval rating.

Consequently, Democrats are distancing themselves from the President. A headline in today’s New York Times reads “ On Campaign Road, Uneasy Democrats Show Obama Their Tail Lights.”

The campaign road, however, could easily take another fork. Many of the Senate races are extremely close, with polls indicating less than 4% differences between contenders. Favorable news could switch odds in favor of Democrats. But the road could fork the other way too, with more U.S. Ebola cases, a 500 drop in the Dow, and ISIS threatened capture of Baghdad. The political situation remains fluid.

Republican Senatorial candidates continue to hammer at ObamaCare, citing broken promises about keeping your doctor and health plan, rising premiums and deductibles, and waves of hundreds of thousands health plan cancellations.

With a Republican Senate victory, the questions remain: whither or wither?

Whither will we go with ObamaCare in face of certain Obama vetoes over such issues as Individual or Employer or Contraceptive Mandates or compliance with those 10 essential benefits with every health plan, or those financial penalties for failing to comply. Whither more ObamaCare marching forward or if market-based policy changes such as ending the $2000 penalties for not covering 50 time employees in businesses, excise taxes on medical innovation companies, restrictions on health savings accounts, tax reform with leveling of health care tax deductions for individual will wither ObamaCare.

Will Obama power wither? Maybe we will return to the Constitutional Checks and Balances, but the odds are the President will continue to try to act autonomously and to more heavily exercise his powers of executive privilege.

Thomas “Mack: McCarty, forme chief of staff for President Clinton, believes President Obama will step up to the plate, exert leadership, and save his presidency (“How Obama Cans Salvage His Last Two Years,” October 20, Wall Street Journal).

Charles Krauthammer, MD, psychistrist turned political commentator, disagree ( “Barack Obama, Bewildered Bystander,” Washington Post, October 24, 2014), Krauthammer does not believe the President, by this background and his previous actions as president, has the capacity to lead the nation out of the political and crisis-laden wilderness.

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