A remarkable story appeared a few days ago in the news section of the San Jose Mercury News, which serves the Silicon Valley and Bay Area of San Francisco.
In the story written by reporter Tracy Seipel, two residents run head-on into the reality of Obamacare:
"Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.
"Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
"Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four."
Not laughing now:
No wonder Waschura, a self-employed engineer, said, "I was laughing at [House Speaker John] Boehner until the mail came today."
Then came the clincher from Waschura: "I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so p----d about this."
Millions of Americans are or soon will be having similar experiences as the country endures the Obamacare launch in real time, with real costs and real penalties attached for non-compliance (remember those 16,000 new IRS agents?).
Comments like Washura's may prompt Boehner and his fellow House Republican leaders to think very carefully before moving to pour the Continuing Resolution and debt ceiling issues together into one boiling stew.
RedState.com's Erick Erickson argues this morning that "as long as the conversation stays on the debt ceiling, we are not talking about the deeply unpopular Obamacare. The GOP needs to immediately get a short-term debt increase done and keep the fight on Obamacare in the continuing resolution.
"We cannot get both the debt ceiling and Obamacare done at the same time. They must be separate fights or the GOP will surrender on all fronts."
Time for statesmanship:
Other GOPers argue that combining the two issues is the only way congressional Republicans can maintain leverage against the brick wall of resistance from Obama and congressional Democrats on Obamacare.
In any case, the central player in this titanic battle of political wills sits in the Oval Office and he alone can in one stroke of inspired leadership calm the storm, begin healing wounds and reunify the nation by delaying Obamacare for a year and convening a bipartisan group to either fix it or replace it.
If he doesn't, Obama will be remembered as the president whose obstinacy ripped the nation apart.
From Today's Washington Examiner:
Philip Klein: Conservative Tea Party pragmatists of the world, unite!
Diana Furchtgott-Roth: IRS heist of premiums could wreck Obamacare.
Susan Ferrechio: Lots of impatience, little agreement and no progress.
In Other News:
The Washington Times: Shutdown be damned as feds hang 'help wanted' signs for thousands of open jobs.
The Telegraph (UK): The Lebanese Rocket Society.
USA Today: Yellen has a chance to prove her mettle.
The New York Times: U.S. officials say Libya approved commando raids.
The Washington Post: Many remain locked out of Obamacare web site.
Investor's Business Daily: Government standoff starts to hit business in the wallet.
Center for Competitive Politics: What is more valuable to a candidate, an extra .025 percent of funding or an endorsement by a major newspaper?
The Weekly Standard: Pay no attention to the bad data.
Washington Free Beacon: There's a reason they don't talk much about the bailout these days at GM.
Talking Points Memo: 'Constitution' truckers plan to shut down D.C. with protest convoy.
The New Republic: Disgusting toilets and the future of China.