Monday, September 8, 2014

ObamaCare as a Political Cudgel

Cudgel thy brains no more about it.

Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet

Don’t forget ObamaCare. Replace it with what? First, give individuals and companies the same insurance-purchase tax break so individuals can buy policies without employers as middlemen. Second, remove interstate barriers to buying and selling insurance to increase competition. Third, expand Health Savings Accounts to reduce the role of insurance middlemen. And fourth, keep a safety net for the very poor.

Clark S. Judge, “Countering the Democratic Midterm Push,” WSJ, September 8, 2014.

In liberal media circles, the word is out. ObamaCare has lost its cachet as a cudgel with which to batter ObamaCare and win the midterm elections.

The word is: Obamacare has worked to lower the number of insured; is working like an IT charm; appeals courts packed with Democratic judges will head off any Supreme Court ruling on the inadmissibility of federal health exchange subsidies,; ObamaCare will soon become so entrenched nothing the cruel Republicans will be unable to slow it down or stop it.

This may all be true. Unfortunately, politically, Obamacare is a cudgel is short thick stick without enough reach to win the midterms. President Obama no longer carries a big stick. He cannot continue to run victory laps about the 8 million exchange signups while the economy has lost its steam and his foreign policy is unraveling.
And as Peter Drucker in the Washington Times observes. Republican strategists believe ObamaCare remains a central issue: “GOP Not Giving Up on ObamaCare Attacks.”

Why this state of affairs?

• ObamaCare has become a middle class issue because most of its members do not quality for subsidies and must pay for increased premiums, which are a common subject for negative ads in Red states where Democratic incumbents are vulnerable.

• GOP operatives believe ObamaCare is a useful symbol for disgruntled white voters who have lost 10% of their incomes over the last six years, who now comprise 40% of those in poverty, and who still regard cancelled health care policies and as emblematic of government incompetence and failure to Obama to deliver on his promises of keeping your doctor, your hospital, and your health plan.

An Iowa Republican strategist concludes,”ObamaCare remains an unpopular concept, and it is a cudgel.”

A Cudgel for Whom?

To those who say it works for lower classes.

To those who say it doesn’t work for middle classes,

To both I say: a cudgel for which party?

Tell me that if you’re really so smarty.

What happens when you go into that booth

And it’s your eye versus someone else’s tooth.

You can’t replace something with nothing

If you have nothing, you are simply bluffing

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