Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Reality of Obamacare: A Way Forward

For all my Republican friends who are feeling disappointed at the failed attempt to defund or modify Obamacare, it's time to accept a few facts and to embrace a new strategy.

First, accept the fact that the Democrats won elections when they mattered.  Elections have consequences.

Second, accept the fact that there was nothing we could do realistically to make any meaningful change to the law during this last fiasco. 

Third, Obamacare is likely here to stay in one form or another.

Fourth, Obamacare does not belong to you.  It belongs completely to the Democrats.  They crafted and they passed it without any bipartisan support.  Given a second chance, most recently, to revisit the structure and content of Obamacare, the Democrats again refused to work with the Republicans.

Now here's the new strategy in two parts.

First, let the Democrats implement Obamacare as they wish.  Wash your hands and make it clear that Obamacare, fail or succeed belongs to the Democrats.  Make this a public relations campaign.  Scream it from the rooftops.  Based on the initial roll out of the program and the impact of the individual mandate on premiums, it's not likely to get better.

See what Jon Stewart of The Daily Show has to say about the roll out of the website:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qtx_ZcHOjw

Again, Obamacare is going to happen, it is happening.  As a nation we are going to experience the consequences.  Put the responsibility for the consequences where they belong...with the party that passed it on their own and refused to negotiate any changes.  It is time for Republicans to walk away from it...for now.

Second, after the effects of the law become obvious the Democrats will be forced to walk back their support of the law and the Republicans may win control of both houses of the Congress.  Only then will it be possible for significant changes in the law to be made.

As all of this plays out, the Republican party needs to rediscover its home turf and learn to work together again.  During the Bush Administration the Republicans lost their way, giving in to fiscal recklessness as they abandoned important principles in favor of remaining in power.  Today the party is torn apart by different factions, both of which are to blame for the current situation.  The challenge to the strategy outlined above will be to get unrealistic radicals to get on board.  While I'm not certain of their motives, Senators Cruz and Lee were not honest in their claims that Obamacare could be defunded.  At the same time, the leadership of the Republican party and the moderate faction have failed miserably at providing any type of effective leadership.  As far as I can tell, they have not articulated any clear goals and have been completely reactionary in their approach to the largest challenges facing our country.

Realism is the order of the day.  Do the Republicans have the common sense to move forward effectively?