Morning Examiner: Left and right strategize over Obamacare’s failure

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Obamacare has been a complete and total failure from day one.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cancelled the law’s government-run long-term care insurance program, the CLASS Act, last year after she admitted it was financially unsustainable and Congress formally repealed it in January’s fiscal cliff deal. Enrollment in Obamacare’s high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions was so low that that program was also cancelled. The nation’s best health care providers, chosen as models of cost savings, have dropped out of Obamacare’s unworkable Accountable Care Organization program. The tax credits that were meant to help small businesses afford coverage, have proved to be so complicated that only 7 percent of the 4.4 million businesses the program was designed to help, have claimed the credit. And no one expects the Obama administration to have health insurance exchanges up and working by this year’s October deadline.

Faced with the inevitable collapse of Obamacare as written, health care policy thinkers on both the left and right have begun plotting their next steps.

On the left, The Washington Post‘s Sarah Kliff reports that the very same groups that helped pass Obamacare (e.g. Families USA, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the National Coalition on Health Care) have now admitted that while Obamacare did give health insurance to more Americans, it did nothing to contain health costs. The new group, Partnership for Sustainable Health Care, put out a five-pronged proposal of more price- and wage- controls that liberals believe are necessary to lower health spending.

On the right, Republicans are debating whether or not to push legislation that would delay further Obamacare implementation until 2016. National Review‘s Ramesh Ponnuru outlines the delayers argument: “1) Implementation, botched or not, will do damage to the health-care system. 2) If delay doesn’t pass, then Republicans will at least have used the proposal to highlight the law’s deficiencies; and they will have done, and be seen to have done, all they can to protect the public from it. 3) If delay passes, on the other hand, it will be pretty embarrassing and demoralizing for the Democrats (which means that it probably wouldn’t pass). 4) If it passes, we’ll also have enacted a serious spending cut: Delaying implementation would save $160 billion over ten years.”

Thanks in large part to Obamacare, there will be multiple fiscal crisis deadlines on Capitol Hill this summer (the debt limit in August, a government shutdown in October) when both the left and right will be able to push their favored Obamacare-failure solutions. Until then, expect the internal debate on both sides to continue.

From The Washington Examiner
Congress is why the Postal Service is in deep trouble
David Freddoso: A tale of two massacres
Byron York: Rush through Senate will kill trust in immigration reform
Conn Carroll: Joe Scarborough uses false al Qaeda talking point to push gun control
Joel Gehrke: WH budget director doesn’t know how much Obama’s budget increases the deficit
Susan Ferrechio: Club for Growth wants Walden primary challenger
Michelle Malkin: Temporary amnesty is never temporary

In Other News
The Washington Post
, North Korea Thought to have warhead: North Korea probably has a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a ballistic missile, according to a new assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm that comes amid growing alarm over Pyongyang’s warmongering.
The New York Times, Senators Agree to Start Debate on Gun Safety Measures: Pressed by shooting victims and relatives of Americans slain in gun violence, the Senate on Thursday voted to begin an emotionally and politically charged debate on gun safety proposals as advocates of new laws overcame a Republican filibuster threat.
The Hill, House Dems say hot D.C. day is sign of global warming: House Democrats on Wednesday pointed to today’s record-setting heat in Washington D.C. as the latest sign that the Earth is warming.
NPR, Progress Kentucky Behind Mitch McConnell Campaign Recording: A secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisors was taped by leaders of the Progress Kentucky super PAC, says a longtime local Democratic operative.
Businessweek, Plaintiffs’ Experts Disavow Work in $19 Billion Chevron Case: Stratus Consulting, the environmental firm used by activist lawyer Steven Donziger to sue Chevron for $19 billion in Ecuador, admitted yesterday that Donziger misled them and disavowed all of their work on the case.

Lefty Playbook
Greg Sargent outlines how Toomey’s gun control bill could pass the House.
Think Progress celebrates a law suit against a florist who does not want to work at a gay wedding.
Ezra Klein names his three favorite parts of the Obama budget.

Righty Playbook
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., has posted the full text of his gun control bill online.
Paul Ryan‘s prepared remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List Gala last night.
Kimberly Strassel on Terry McAuliffe’s Solyndra.

View article comments Leave a comment