Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Obamacare: Death By a Thousand Votes?

We didn't see a Republican tide on election night.

We saw a Republican tsunami.

A year after Obamacare went into effect and Democrats said people would come to support it voters gave one Republican candidate after another, who made Obamacare a big part of each of their campaigns, one victory after another.

So, how will the Republicans use their convincing result on Obamacare?

Republicans will not have the votes to override any presidential vetoes nor will they have the 60 Senate votes needed for full repeal. But the Republican Senate can now pass lots of anti-Obamacare legislation using budget rules. Remember, the Supreme Court said the individual mandate penalty is a "tax." The health insurance company "3Rs" reinsurance provisions are revenue related. The Obama administration's recently using regulation to take the caps off the reinsurance program is clearly a spending item. The medical device tax could well be a bipartisan target, as would the employer mandate. And, so on.

The even bigger House majority will be happy to go along with the Senate's forcing Democrats to vote on one unpopular piece of Obamacare after another––and then forcing Obama to veto them.

Obamacare will not be repealed or fundamentally changed in the next Congress.

But the Republicans now have the opportunity to prepare the table for 2017––so long as they don't overplay their hand.

What this election result has guaranteed us is that the Obamacare debate is not over.
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