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Topics: Obamacare

Obamacare is the left's high-water mark in America

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Noemie Emery,Obamacare,President,Health Care,Analysis

So, Barack Obama pulled off a political coup by deferring the small business mandate under Obamacare to the end of 2014, or just after the midterm elections, thus taking the Obamacare issue off the table for those elections, and avoiding the consequences, assumed to be dire, thereof.

But wait! What comes after the end of 2014? That would be 2015, and the start of the 2016 campaign for president, which these days starts just after New Year of the year previous.

This means that the early skirmishes in both major parties will be dominated by the implementation of this aspect of health care, which we can assume now will not go smoothly.

If they can't face this now, why should it be any easier one year later, when all the perverse incentives will still be the problem, and God knows what else will go wrong?

This is the beauty of health care, and the size of its gift to the opposite party. There will always be an election around the next corner, and health care will always confound its defenders, at least until it is mercifully euthanized, or, as seems every day more and more likely, falls apart under its weight.

The act's defenders say that the mandate is minor, and the exchanges, which are the main thing, will come along swimmingly. But wait! The mandate was key to enrollment in the exchanges, as the states relied on information from the employers to determine if applicants were eligible under the rules of the law.

How will the states know if applicants are a) employed, and b) poor enough to qualify for public assistance? They won't. And now, it turns out they won't have to!

On July 5, very quietly, the administration announced it was suspending the eligibility screenings until 2015, meaning people could apply for millions in benefits with no proof of need.

The promotion of fraud is exactly what the Democrats need going into the 2014 midterms, but this is just part of what Obama's ambitions have brought them.

He said he'd make history, and you can't say he hasn't. He said he'd bring change, and he did. The changes he brought include the cost of insurance (going up), the number of doctors leaving the business (going up also), the number of companies selling insurance, (going down, sadly), and the shape of the law that is his achievement, which seems to change now without warning, and sometimes, it seems every day.

The last considerations, it appears, are driven by panic. "Only the administration itself really knows how implementation is going," Yuval Levin tells us.

"The various delays and rule changes ... are responses to problems they are finding ... and the shape of those responses is among the only clues we have to the shape of the problems they see," Levin said.

In the spring of 2010, Pickett's Charge was the metaphor frequently used for the Democrats, as they were rounded up, hounded, and forced into voting, so it was ironic that it was 150 years after the real thing happened that this sad little back-down took place.

In each case, hordes of recruits were marched across open fields into enemy fire, to fulfill the wish of a charismatic commander, who was audacious by nature, full of himself, hadn't been beaten, and had history much on his mind.

But this finally answers the question of whom Obama resembles. He is not the next Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan, or Kennedy. He's the Left's Robert E. Lee.

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