Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Let ObamaCare Make the Case for Repeal

This week the American people are discovering just how sacred the flawed law known as ObamaCare is to Democratic lawmakers. Despite the increasing unpopularity of the bill, Senate Democrats signaled yesterday afternoon that given the choice between shutting down the government and delaying implementation of ObamaCare, Senate Democrats choose the former. 

While there have been amusing stories about the cessation of the “PandaCam” at the National Zoo during a shutdown, there would also more serious repercussions to a government shutdown. National Review’s Jim Geraghty outlined some important examples of programs that could be endangered by a government shutdown, most notably for the law enforcement and defense industries. There has been a great deal of fear-mongering in the past by Democrats regarding shutdowns in order to place blame on Republicans, which in turn has caused Republicans to emphasize how little the shutdown would affect the average American. Neither strategy is advisable in the event of a shutdown, as Americans will be able to see beyond the rhetoric and judge the effects firsthand. 

For Democrats, agreeing to a delay of ObamaCare in order to avert a shutdown seems, on the outset, like a gift. Every day, more stories emerge about the effects that the law will have on the American people and economy. With the implementation of ObamaCare’s exchanges this morning, Democrats have yet another reason to take the “Get Out of Jail Free” card that their Republican opponents have just offered, even if they have no intention of cashing in.

Yesterday the New York Times, which was once ObamaCare’s cheerleader, explained just how flawed the implementation of the exchanges, a major component of the law, will look in the state of Oregon and beyond: 

Rocky King, the executive director of Oregon’s new health insurance exchange, has done everything in his power to tamp down expectations for its opening on Tuesday.

He rejected the idea of a flashy downtown news conference that morning. He postponed a series of ads meant to drive customers to its Web site, coveroregon.com. In fact, Mr. King is not even allowing people to sign up for health coverage online without assistance at first; they will have to go through an insurance agent or a community group until at least mid-October.

Tuesday is the long-awaited kickoff of President Obama’s signature health care law, when millions of Americans can start signing up for new insurance options. Yet across the country, officials are issuing warnings that despite fevered efforts, their new insurance exchanges — online markets where people can shop for health plans and see if they qualify for federal subsidies — will not be fully operational for weeks or even months.

Jonathan rightly pointed out yesterday that Democrats may not have the easy layup they think they do over the shutdown. With the exchanges melting down already, the American people may see this drastic push by Republicans to put an end to the individual mandate portion of the law as needed and justified as they watch what ObamaCare means for their daily lives for the first time.

Unfortunately, the media won’t be focused on reporting on the difficulties nationwide if  the story is instead now about the shutdown. Now that Republicans have gone on record with this push to end ObamaCare in the 11th hour, it’s time to pull back from the brink. Republicans have warned for years that ObamaCare would be a disaster for Americans. Without the ability to put an end to the law via defunding, delay, or repeal with the Senate and White House under Democratic control, it’s time to let the law speak for itself.