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Three Reasons Obamacare is in Deep Doo Doo

Democrats are working hard to portray the inevitability of Obamacare, characterizing GOP efforts to repeal it as political theater while President Obama himself fights a rearguard action by suggesting he’s open to revisions.

But the spin coming out of the Democratic camp and the offers of flexibility mask a reality the White House is well aware of: Obama’s signature achievement is in serious danger of getting killed by its opponents.

There are three reasons for this.

First – and this undergirds the other two reasons by making them more likely –  Obamacare is not popular. Recent polls show opposition running ahead of support by, on average, about a seven point margin. Obama and his Democratic allies jammed nation-changing legislation through Congress even though the measure was unpopular. They promised to make people like it, and they have so far failed. It’s hard to maintain a law people don’t like.

Second, it appears Republicans may only need 50 Senate votes – assuming a Republican is elected president – to sink the law. Many have assumed until now they would have to get 60 to break a Democratic filibuster.

But according to an analysis by former Bush National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey – an analysis that was also described today in a Wall Street Journal column by Karl Rove – Republicans can destroy much of the law through the “reconciliation” process used to pass the budget. A reconciliation bill avoids the usual Senate rules and requires only 50 votes to pass. According to Hennessey:

Reconciliation is a procedural tool primarily used to change spending and revenues, deficits and debt.  Repeal of the subsidies, the individual mandate, the insurance provisions, and the Medicaid expansions would, in each case, directly affect spending and revenues, so it would be a straight-up-the-middle use of reconciliation for deficit reduction.

Republicans need gain only three more Senate seats – hardly an improbability – to get to 50. They’ll also have to steal the White House, and that’s not an improbability, but it’s no easy task. The health care law itself, unpopular as it is, may make each of these outcomes more likely.

The third reason Obamacare is imperiled is what we’ve seen in the courts. Two federal judges have ruled against the insurance purchasing mandate, without which the law – as a practical matter and possibly as a legal matter – can’t stand. The Supreme Court will eventually decide, and many expect a 5-4 decision to go whichever way Justice Anthony Kennedy says it will go.

And don’t be mistaken, popular sentiment is a factor here too. It is often said that the Supreme Court is influenced by public opinion to a far greater degree than the Justices would acknowledge, even to themselves.

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20 Responses to Three Reasons Obamacare is in Deep Doo Doo

  1. As far as public opinion goes, time is moving on. Insurance companies are raising rates, docs won’t take Medicare patients, people are using up their savings and won’t be able to afford a plan or the fine, Medicaid is throwing people off the rolls willynilly, and just “making” people guy insurance no longer looks anything like “Affordable Health Care.” It’s like telling a homeless person to just buy a house. The whole thing is whack. And gradually, this is sinking in.

  2. Obamacare isn’t about health care for Amerians, it’s about the money that Americans now give to health insurers. All along, the supporters of this fiasco have told us that implementing this law would reduce our National debt. How it proposes to reduce our debt is complicated and simple at the same time; the money that we send to our health insurers will be going to the Treasury. The Leftys are keenly aware that the health insurers make massive profits every year and that profit is what the Feds want and need.
    The fiasco will also shift the burden of Medicaid to the States and they have already instituted a severe slashing of the benefits that will be available to the poor.
    The Obamacare law has already stolen the profitable StudentLoan program from the banking industry because the profits will now go to the Treasury.
    The hated 1099 requirement in the Obamacare was to follow the sub rosa employment money and give the IRS information of who was being paid and how much.
    The regulation of the sale of privately held gold was to give the IRS information of capital gains and who is getting the money.

    It’s all about the money.

      • I think the employment of more IRS agents will be as part of Obama’s *Sturmabteilung*, a political arm of the White House. I have watched now for two years as Obama has politicized *every* department in the government. I would not be suprised if the IRS is made a militant arm of the Justice Department.

  3. Once again Keith, great post.

    Reconciliation could certainly be used; the Dem’s *love* reconcilitation …. not. Not when its used against Obama’s Soviet-style health care laws. We need to elect more Republicans in the Senate to force a proper overturning of Obamacare: vote it down. But dont be suprised to see the Dem’s filibuster *any* reconciliation action on Obamacare …

  4. Keith– stumbled on your site, very nice.
    Surely the purpose was to reduce the uninsurable population. Time to look at cause and effect- as the uninsurable number now grows higher with the Obamacare plan driving up cost with additional benefits most consumers do not want. Also, economic issues continuing to drive up unemployment leaving families with additioanl hits with Cobra after gov assistance.
    Seems like the unemployeed are now tired of reporting as the the only way unemployment can decrease to 9% when only 36,000 jobs added. Funny math in Washington.

  5. I’m not a big fan of the healthcare package passed by congress. But did you all miss the fact that health care costs have been rising by double digits for at least a decade? Did you think it would magically stop, if we do nothing? You don’t seem to mind health insurance “bureaucrats” making decisions for you, you just don’t want government “bureaucrats” doing it. Maybe if the GOP had done more to offer real solutions and made an effort to negotiate we would have gotten better. Will it now be back to square one? Insurers do what they want, with no accountability to anyone, while people who try to get insurance are slowly priced out of the market, or simply cut, because they had a “pre-existing” condition.

  6. President Obama has a compassionate approach to our country EXCEPT
    FOR: All of our foreign aid to countries..FOR WHAT?? This includes Israel.
    My biggest problem with our country is that the President has “given up” on
    taxing that upper 1% of all the billionaires we have in this country. Even if you are making $250,000 per year it is not easy if you are supporting three families and paying for their health insurance, car insurance, living expenses and helping grandchildren with their education. All of this due to death and loss of jobs!! It does not seem fair to me that those of us who are helping to keep family members “off of the dole” receive not one iota of tax relief or any kind of help, while we have members of our society living like there is no tomorrow with ultra- lavisious life styles. We are not alone…many citizens are helping out children and grandchildren. Do you even acknowledge this
    group of tax paying citizens? PLEASE ADDRESS THIS ISSUE!!!

  7. Paolo.
    The reason healthcare costs are high is because of the govt! We can’t buy across state lines, regulations for reimbursement, the low reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid to providers, etc. Look at costs going up just as Obamacare is getting implemented. The govt needs to get out of the business and the free market will drive costs down.
    Think of Lasik surgery. No insurance company pays for this. When first out it cost 3K plus now down to 800 and less. Competition and the market have driven costs down. The govt will pay 10.00 for a box of Kleenex for reimbursement- remember the expensive hammers? The private market won’t tolerate those costs and so the govt is contributing to the high costs!

  8. If this law is so good, why has this administration issued 900+ waivers and exempted Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and New Jersey? Since when do our laws apply to some Americans, but not to others who are politically connected?

  9. Ok, here are my ideas on how to temporarily, and eventually, permanently fix our healthcare system. Starting tomorrow, I would announce that all doctors, and nurses in the US, have been drafted into a new branch of our armed services, and now have the same rights as a naval officer, or an army officer. Their paychecks would reflect the fact that they are well-trained, and educated, but none would make more than say 150k. Their government student loans would be rescinded. As in the military, they would be offered housing, and other allowances in addition to their salaries. They would also be eligible for retirement, much as the military is.
    Next, all military bases in the US, particularly the ones closed for base realignments of the 80’s and 90’s would reopen their medical facilities. They would also reopen their barracks, and chow halls. Poor people would be transported to these bases, for their medical care, as well as recuperation in base facilities. They would also be required to stay at the bases after their recuperation, to retrain themselves in skills that they can get a decent job. Many could be trained as nurses. Starting tomorrow, provide huge financial incentives for medical schools to increase class sizes, by at least double, and make it financially painful if these medical schools don’t churn out increasing numbers of physicians. For tort reform, a system similar to workmen’s compensation would be set up, where lawyers are cut out of the process, and patients are compensated within reason for any damages they incur from doctors. Doctors would be paid according to how many patients they have injured, and would be removed from their duties in the cases of extreme negligence, and incompetence. They would be offered jobs in research, or similar types of jobs where they no longer treat patients. They could retrain, and eventually be put on probation to see patients again. These solutions won’t fix everything, but they’d really take a bite out of the costs of our medical system, should anyone actually be serious about fixing our healthcare system.

  10. Obamacare is still being funded!! Hundreds of NEW AGENCIES ARE BEING CREATED AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE! Because Obama didn’t pass a budget last October, (that’s right folks, 5 months ago), the Country continues to operate under what’s called “Continuing Resolutions”, and they renew them every 2 weeks. That’s because YOUR Congressman wants to be paid, and not as Liar Harry Reid lied and said, “If we shut down the Government, then Social Security check won’t go out”. He’s lying, SS checks always go out, even when the Federal Government shuts down as it has in the past. Harry Reid IS A LIAR. Period.
    Since they keep operating under a Continuing Resolution, Nancy Pelosi inserted a secret clause at the last minute when she was Speaker of the House (and since let out of the bag) that Obamacare gets funded, if the government is operating under a Continuing Resolution, which it is! It doesn’t matter to Obama, Pelosi and Reid that Federal Judge Vinson has declared it illegal and Unconstitutional, I T’ S S T I L L B E I N G F U N D ED That means that Pelosi and Reid are still creating all those hundreds of Agencies, which is what the $105 billion secret taxpayer money is for! Hundreds of NEW AGENCIES, and oh yes, 17,000 new IRS agents to make sure that YOU adhere to all of the a-hole regulations in it!! Call your Congressman now and leave a message: 202-224-3121, and tell them they are going to be fired like those 63 other Liberal Democrats who passed Obamacare in the first place!!
    If they ever pass Obama’s new budget, he calls for another 1.6 trillion dollars to be BORROWED FOR ALL OF HIS DEFICIT SPENDING! That money hasn’t been printed yet, and it will be paid off by kids who haven’t been born yet! IT”S ADDED ON TO THE 14 TRILLION THAT ALREADY CAN’T BE PAID FOR! Call your Congressman right now, leave a message and tell he/she/it that he’s fired! 202-224-3121

    • Wow, we really could have used you during the Bush term, which ran up ten trillion in real and structural debt, bailed out the banks with TARP, then loaned them another three trillion from the Fed.

  11. Hello there!!

    Don’t know where I’ve been! Didn’t know this website existed! Great news coming on 4/19/’13 but remarkable in its substance. By today. it is well known that maybe this admin. will be “null and void” in its entirety! I am not going to cry because these dim–witted dims should not have tried to stuff this un–constitutional mess down the American people throats in the first place. I wonder how many of them remember Boehner asking the dims when he was minority leader, “Democrats, do you know what you’re voting for?” and “Have you read what you’re voting on?” I read an article just last week that Kathleen Sabooyus is blaming her entire mess of not getting o-care off the ground on guess who–the Republicans!!! What is wrong with those retarded liberals?!!!!! Can these sims find the communist country somewhere of their own choice? We do not need them here in our Republic!!!!!