One thing you have to say about Republicans; they’re like little dogs with their favorite chew toy, in that they never give up on a meme. For example, take Obamacare. No matter how many times they try and fail to kill it, they will continue to try and fail, because their brain-dead “base” truly doesn’t care if they succeed, only that they try.
The ACA is almost fully in effect, and once we get to January 1, there is no turning back. The GOP has lost. They literally can’t kill it anymore. What are they going to do; tell millions of people they can no longer have insurance and take it away, including a lot of their right ing base, many of whom are getting insurance for the first time? It’s over, it’s done and dusted. Yet, Republicans continue to try anything they can to at least make it look to their staunchest supporters like they’re doing everything they can to stop this law. See, the current GOP base is still screaming against Obamacare, even though they seem to be signing up for health insurance. Cognitive dissonance is what the current GOP is built on.
Thankfully, they have been forced by circumstances to keep scaling things back. The House GOP passed 42 bills to kill the law altogether, despite the fact that they knew it would never happen. They did this because, well, they’re Republicans. Not once has anyone from the Republican Party been honest with their constituents and let them know that they’re wasting their time, and the repeal can never become law, but hey; it looks like they tried, and that’s all that matters. When the law basically launched on October 1, they decided to shut down the government and changed their demand to defunding the ACA.
Now, though, they’re down to delaying the individual mandate, which is wholly ironic, since 20 years ago they cited the lack of an individual mandate as the reason they couldn’t support Hillarycare. Funny thing is, they were kind of right back then; any universal health insurance system needs an individual mandate if it’s going to work. If everyone isn’t covered, then the system can collapse. You have to either make everyone pay health care taxes or you have to make them buy insurance.
There is no reason for a one year delay, really. The website isn’t working 100%, but it’s working some, and it’s also possible to sign up with a phone call, or by showing up at a local office. Anyone who’s motivated to buy health insurance will do so. If the website doesn’t work right for you, there are alternatives. If the website was the only possible way to sign up, a delay of a few months might be fair, but not an entire year.
Keep in mind, even before Obamacare, more than 80% of Americans had health insurance, mostly through their employers. Now, that number will likely top 90%. The only people signing up for the ACA are those who don’t get insurance through their work, such as self-employed people, or those too poor to afford it. In some cases, they’re checking it out to see if they can get a better deal with the subsidies than their employer is giving them. It’s simply not fair to let a few million people off the hook for refusing to pay for something they should have and definitely need. That said, a one year delay wouldn’t kill the law, or have a major negative effect in the short term. But it should be Obama’s and the Democrats’ decision, not the GOP’s. They don’t get to try and prevent anyone from signing up for health insurance for three and a half years, and then complain because people can’t sign up fast enough.
By the way, there’s a lot of talk about Democratic Senator Joe Manchin working for a year-long delay of the individual mandate, but he’s posing. This is an issue he probably won’t win, but he’s trying to increase his street cred in his ever redder state of West Virginia. It’s really no big deal. The President probably won’t sign a year delay, although if the website issues continue, a delay of a few months is possible. But if I’m wrong (it happens), and they do decide to delay the mandate for a year, it simply makes it more important that we make sure as many Democrats as possible win in 2014.