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« Open Thread | Main | Rorschach Test: Police Fire At Car Filled With Kids, But Only After Mother Attempts to Flee Routine Traffic Stop Multiple Times »
November 18, 2013

Rasmussen: A New High of 58% Opposes Obamacare, With 45% Viewing the Law "Very Unfavorably"

Obamacare hits like a ton. 15% say they view the law "very favorably." That's the Democrats' super-base.

45% view it very unfavorably. That's very close to an outright majority. And people "very" concerned about an issue will vote on that issue.

David Frum -- yeah, I know -- writes about repeal scenarios and says -- yeah, I know -- that outright repeal is a "fantasy." He's paid to say things like that. Still, it's worthwhile to consider the difficulties that face Obamacare opponents:

Over the past month, as the Obamacare exchanges have bounced and crashed, some 400,000 Americans have enrolled in Medicaid or S-Chip, the children's health program....

If a "repeal ACA" president takes office in 2017, he or she will face a reality in which repeal means stripping millions of people—potentially up to 10 million—of a government benefit they will by then have enjoyed for more than three years. Such a move would be the most radical reduction in social coverage ever seen in a democratic country. Ronald Reagan never tried anything even close to that.

He goes on to discuss "reform," which I personally don't want anything to do with.

Here's the problem, which he doesn't seem to realize: Obamacare is, as he says, a "fact" on the ground. While it remains in force, any effort to "reform" Obamacare is doomed, because Obama will simply insist that any "reform" meet the baseline goals of the law in place, Obamacare. He will agree to a certain amount of streamlining and that sort of thing, but only to the extent of preserving Obamacare's goals of taking from groups not in his coalition to deliver to groups in it.

And, naturally, he will welcome Republicans taking ownership of and responsibility for an unworkable mess of a law they do not want.

Frum poses as "reasonable" on this, as smart, as "realistic." But he seems to be entirely ignorant of the first law of negotiation -- never negotiate against yourself. Which is precisely what any attempt to "reform" Obamacare while the full dreadful law remains on the books would become. It would consist of Republicans bartering a way to achieve Obama's transformational, redistributionist goals in a somewhat more workable manner.

This must be rejected.

Even to the extent Frum is right about the impossibility of ending the Medicaid expansion, it must still be done in the context of full repeal. Permit a year-long extension of Obamacare on this plank (and any other difficult-to-repeal parts, like the under-26-"children" part) but which sunsets after a year. This would mean the GOP would have a full year to work out a different solution while not disrupting the current regime -- but, as these parts of Obamacare would sunset without action in a year, we would not be under the gun as far as making concessions to Obama. If Obama won't work with us, then we do nothing, and just let it all sunset and go away.

Rather than coming at the law with a full-scale "replacement" (which would have to compete with Obamacare as far as deliverables to Obama's coalition), come at it with a year-long extension plus sunsetting, during which time a workable replacement could be fashioned.

Or, if not, then the whole thing goes away.

I think this is more salable politically -- the American people seem to favor "delay" actions over making definite actions. So let's put our repeal on delay, as far as the more popular parts of Obamacare, with those parts of it extended but scheduled to be sunsetted. The GOP can sell this (honestly) as giving them time to work things out while not throwing millions off Medicaid without their own alternative.

The American public prefers half-steps to full steps. They like hedging. They like buying time and hoping some Miracle Solution arises which has none of the drawbacks of the Democratic and Republican plans.

Of course, that's a fantasy, but if the public is hungry for fantasy, feed them fantasy.

A repeal of most of Obamacare (mandates, etc.) while sunsetting the rest is a full measure disguised as a half-measure that I think can be sold.

And that would give us the space to actually "reform" health care law without having to compete with Obamacare. Given the sunsetting, if the Democrats and Obama won't come to terms, then we just do nothing at all. Then we can share ownership with the Democrats as far as killing Obamacare. Something I don't mind sharing credit on, so long as Obamacare is dead.

Frum article thanks to @benk84.

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