The case for ObamaCare delay
I don’t know if there’s any realistic chance the ObamaCare mandate will be delayed, due to the catastrophic failure of the website, which is looking like it might only be a bit less catastrophic when its much-touted “relaunch” comes on December 1. I’m aware of the “let it burn” political arguments against allowing a delay. As the old saying goes, give the people what they voted for, good and hard!
I’ll make no bones about what I really think should happen, which is full and immediate repeal. That should have been done a long time ago. How much expense and heartbreak the American people would have been saved! How much of today’s confusion could have been avoided! How much better the dead-parrot job market would be looking! I remain convinced that the people who tried to stop this disaster before it blew upon the launch pad, such as Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, were doing their jobs – not just as Republican representatives, but as members of a Congress that is supposed to be more fiscally responsible and legally prudent than this.
But I don’t think the Democrats are likely to take a “repeal or nothing” deal, even now that polls are turning against them. It occurred to me when Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) introduced their “Delay Until Fully Functional Act” that it’s just the right thing to do. It is ludicrous to dump people into a penalty trap for failing to comply with a law they couldn’t possibly obey. That is a marker Republicans should have on the table, because if a delay becomes inevitable in the eyes of Democrats, they would castigate Republicans for opposing it. The public would not look fondly upon the GOP for forcing them into the jaws of the trap Barack Obama built, just to teach them a lesson. And you know that’s what the narrative would boil down to.
There’s more than just the ObamaCare website debacle involved here. Barack Obama’s Big Lie was the greatest act of consumer fraud in history. Millions of people are waking up to the unpleasant reality that he lied to them about keeping their plans. They believed his assurances that they didn’t need to do anything, that they would barely notice the implementation of ObamaCare. Instead, their lives are being turned upside down. Berate them for foolishly believing the Big Lie if you want, but it’s cruel to insist on the scheduled continuation of an economic death march they didn’t think they would be forced into, as the holiday season and typical year-end confusion bear down up on them. They deserve a little room to absorb what is happening to them, before the existing deadlines induce a state of general panic. Panicked voters don’t usually make wise decisions, or send clear signals to their elected representatives in Washington. America was stampeded into ObamaCare. Let us reason our way out of it.
After considering the forces set in play by the launch of the Affordable Care Act, I don’t think a mandate delay is going to raise the sword of judgment from its neck. On the contrary, the delay is going to make it even more untenable. There’s a lot more crashing here than a website.
Agreeing to a delay will be an enormous political blow to President Obama and the Democrats, no matter how furiously they try to spin themselves as concerned and responsible politicians who just want to do what’s right for everyone. The Democrat Party that rammed ObamaCare down our throats was the most irresponsible and corrupt political body in modern history – from the orgy of backroom deals and kickbacks necessary to buy their votes, through the deliberate lies peddled by far more than just Barack Obama. They all pushed the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” Big Lie. They’re all complicit in the fraud.
Some of them hope they can save their political hides by jumping off the sinking ship now – calling for an individual mandate delay, or advocating “if you like your plan, you can keep it” fixes that won’t do much good for the folks who already lost their plans. But the Democrat Party looks collectively corrupt, foolish, and craven for trying to patch this trillion-dollar train wreck up with duct tape and Krazy Glue. Delaying the program will be a body blow to their credibility, and a stunning victory for their opponents. They know it, which is why they’re dancing such a careful little fandango around those legislative fixes. It’s why the possibility of a mandate delay is still the stuff of rumors and political calculation, even as the pages of the November calendar flutter away in the merciless countdown breeze.
I tend to think delaying ObamaCare will only assist the effort to repeal it. The arguments against delay are political, and I don’t like the idea of requiring the American people to suffer so a political point can be made. I don’t think they’re likely to accept such a lesson with gratitude. Call for that reasonable delay, and make sure the Democrats suffer for either accepting it or opposing it. That’s how checkmate works.