Six weeks into Obamacare, it appears Sen. Max Baucus may well have been understating things when he predicted "a train wreck."
With barely 106,185 Obamacare "enrollees" and an estimated five million people whose current insurance policies have been cancelled, the Montana Democrat probably should have said "catastrophe."
As bad as things look right now -- so bad that many Senate Democrats are clearly in panic mode, especially those facing the voters next year -- the Obamacare bad news is only beginning.
An economic earthquake
Consider the plight of the five million Americans whose policies have been cancelled because they fail to measure up under Obamacare.
Washington cannot simply decree that those policies be reinstated, so come Jan. 1, 2014, millions of Americans who depended upon their old health insurance for life-saving treatments likely will be without coverage.
They will also be without their doctors and other health care providers they've depended upon for years. That means that at least for some period of time, their daily lives will be marked by pain, uncertainty and disruption.
Wait till next year
It will be worse in 2014 because that's when millions of Americans working for small businesses lose their coverage.
Even if healthcare.gov works perfectly by then, these millions of people will experience the shock of premiums that double or triple.
Plus, their new policies will force them to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs many won't be able to afford. More pain, chaos and disruption but now on an even wider scale.
Part-time job, full-time anger
But the most profoundly disruptive Obamacare effect will almost certainly be how it forces millions of Americans to become part-timers.
Thousands of owners and bosses have already begun reducing work schedules to 29 hours or less per week because 30 hours is where Obamacare's massive regulatory and financial burdens kick in for employers.
Those reduced hours will mean less take-home pay, which will in turn mean reduced standards of living, economic contraction, and debilitating disruption of daily lives.
A political earthquake
Imagine millions of shell-shocked voters going to the polls November 2014 believing they were lied to by Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and every other Democrat who voted for Obamacare in 2010.
They will hold Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the Democratic Party responsible for turning their lives upside down and forcing the country to endure epic economic, social and political upheavals.
This is why November 2014 could produce the most massive turnover in American politics since the Civil War, and neither Democrats nor Republicans will ever be the same thereafter.
On today's Washington Examiner
Philip Klein: Four takeaways from the Obamacare enrollment figures.
Susan Ferrechio: White House tries to calm Democrats' growing panic over Obamacare.
Charlie Spiering: Ted Cruz previews new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
In other news
The Washington Post: New accusations of Secret Service misconduct.
The New York Times: JP Morgan's fruitful ties to a member of the Chinese elite.
USA Today: Health exchanges fail to meet low expectations.
Los Angeles Times: State on-track on health care signups.
Time Magazine: Democrats rebel against Obamacare.
Talking Points Memo: Rand Paul says Chris Christie won because he got lots of federal money for New Jersey.
Fire Dog Lake: Land of the thousands to never be free.
American Conservative: Lincoln and the Gettysburg Gospel.
Washington Free Beacon: Transparency for thee, not for me.