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No buzzer beater for ObamaCare

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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NO BUZZER BEATER FOR OBAMACARE
With the clock ticking loudly, today marks two weeks until the most pivotal moment yet for ObamaCare. The March 31 enrollment deadline that ends open enrollment and sets off penalties for those who haven’t signed-up for the new entitlement program is crucial milestone for President Obama’s already troubled health care law. Almost six months after a botched Web site rollout, policy cancellations and premium sticker shock, the projected goal of 7 million looks like an impossible buzzer beater for team Obama. While the president said last week that the just over 4 million enrolled are enough to make ObamaCare viable, the number who have paid their first month’s premiums and are actually covered still hasn’t been released. Add in industry estimates of the number of young people critical to the program’s success at fewer than 25 percent of total enrollment and there’s little wonder the White House is rolling out celebrities and a frenetic “March Madness” hoop-themed pitch to entice last minute sign ups.

Bracketing for support - Washington Examiner: “The White House on Monday will release a ‘16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered’ bracket, hoping to use March Madness to promote Obamacare two weeks before the deadline for Americans to obtain health insurance. According to a White House official, two top college basketball coaches Monday will make an Obamacare sales pitch in a web video aimed at fans of the sport.”

Coach has a plan? - Coming off of Rep. David Jolly’s, R-Fla., win in Florida’s special congressional election last week, where ObamaCare was central to the campaign, the administration is scrambling to recover from how deeply unpopular the health law is and the drag the president’s low approval rating is putting on vulnerable midterm Democrats. Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senior White House Adviser Dan Pfeiffer admitted, “There’s no question that everyone in Washington, the president included, took a big hit from the double whammy of a shutdown and healthcare.gov.” Seeking to calm the palatable fear on the blue team, Pfeiffer added, “This president wrote the book on running and winning modern campaigns. We’re going to help Democrats up and down the ballots… We’re going to set the terms of the debate and provide our organizational ability to help them.” Cheery words from the coaching staff, but with the odds already stacked against Democrats when it comes to turnout in midterm elections and Republicans hammering them on ObamaCare’s failings, the road to re-election, and most importantly retaining control of the Senate looks almost impassable.

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Chris Stirewalt

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