Monday, November 03, 2014

Will a GOP Senate Mean Anything for Obamacare

There is no saving the sinking ship but we could have a nice set up in early 2015. It will be a nice confirmation or display of who has power in America. Obamacare has been an atrocious failure. Even the NY Times cannot hide it. Enrollment was weak, costs have skyrocketed, companies have cut employee hours or laid off employees to avoid regulations and on an anecdotal basis, has anyone you know seen a positive outcome? President Obama himself is in a weak position. His numbers are bad, and that is with the black bedrock of support. Say the GOP manages to get 51 Senators come January. Holding onto the House is a conceded point by the Democrats with their election spending moves. How the GOP approaches Obamacare come January can reveal more about how things operate and who is in charge than any post-election editorial.

Three Approaches
1. "It's the law." - The GOP concedes that the Roberts court said it is constitutional, so therefore can't touch it.
2. Scalpel Approach - The GOP slices and dices at some spots while making changes here and there.
3. Full Repeal - Full repeal passed and waiting for Obama's signature.

Approach one will show what a paper opposition the GOP is, and considering their grandstanding over spending after they won the 2010 Tea Party wave election, it is highly probable. Approach two would reveal the bipartisan ruling class, corporate interest nature of our political leadership. They will chuck out some taxes that will hurt our overall federal funding levels, keep those corporate backstops and throw in some stuff for the little guy. Approach three is where things could get fun.

Obamacare support hovers in the mid-30s, with opposition or displeasure around 50% and the remainder do not know because they are idiots or speak a language the polling group did not have translators for. The GOP has fundraised and campaigned against Obamacare for a few years now. The media has even reported on the different problems of Obamacare for multiple years. The media releasing premium increase numbers since the implementation would be useful propaganda. I am willing to bet GOP leadership could make some verbal sweetheart deals with insurance companies about premium reductions in the event of full repeal. Insurance companies could even leak their premium reduction projections in the event of full repeal. This would be another Roe v. Wade, but not quite, if they fail to follow through when they would have the power. There would be immense pressure on the GOP leadership to do this. If they chickened out, forget it, they'd lose whatever remaining credibility they have with their battered spouse base (that base being the last gasp of people with any sense of the old republic).

There is another way approach three becomes interesting. We will be entering, sadly, the two year period where presidential hopefuls will be sizing up their chances. There may be a GOP executive or three that will see the idea of full repeal as a part of their plank for a presidential run. This would be useful to state governors looking to come into DC and "clean up", cleaning up here would be scrapping the terrible Obamacare swamp. There is another person who may favor a full repeal, or push for a tinkering, Hillary Clinton. Clinton has already had the knives out for Obama since coming back from her concussion, stroke or whatever sidelined her for six months. She sure as well will throw Obamacare under the bus, because she has Hillarycare all set up to take it's place. The media will support that as well, because it will probably go the extra mile in government intervention. Other Democrats could silently support it because suddenly there is a propaganda, fundraising and GOTV sound byte of "they took away your health care".

The last thing that makes approach three is marvelous to consider is the man himself. Imagine for a moment, all of these pieces fall into place: GOP gets 51 seats in Senate + retains the House, insurance premiums spike further and higher premium payroll deductions start hitting in January, three or more GOP guys start calling for repeal while doing the talk TV rounds, even Hillary sticks a knife in there, the Washington Post even calls for changes and the repeal bill goes through since the filibuster rules were nuked. It sits on Obama's desk. Does he sign it? It would be a wild finish for his time in the Oval Office. His story arc is already wonderful for the Nobel Peace Prize and "I ended the war", but then he started new wars and drones Muslims non-stop. Let's go after fat cats, but the cats are even fatter. Let's improve US prestige worldwide and use smart diplomacy, but things keep sinking globally for the USG. This is it. This is the one thing he has. This is his legacy. There is only one way a narcissus like Obama signs this. The only thing he can hang his hat on would be wiped away. How poetic though if he did? Considering the eight years of addressing no real problems or making any hard choices, the one big change would be wiped clean. It would be as if his presidency was completely meaningless (shhh, maybe the rubes will catch on). The only way he signs it is if the New York Times and the mandarins behind Obama who will shift to being behind Hillary have the back up Hillarycare plan in place and feel extremely confident about 2016. They could spin it as a magnanimous move by such a wise and older Obama.

"This is unprecedented. There are those who would say I would never repeal this. Let me be clear. I would never put my legacy above that of the American people..."


peterike said...

Intriguing. Mostly, I see a GOP Senate getting right around to what they usually do: looting. Getting while the getting is good. Too many old guard Republican statists are in the Senate. 30 or 40 of them would have to drop dead suddenly for things to change (please God...).

The House might make noise but the Senate will never repeal Obamacare. Hillary might one-up it and say "the mess we have is because we've only gone half way. Fully nationalize health care and all the promise of Obamacare will be fulfilled... yak yak yak." The GOP will sputter and gurgle. The media will back Shrillery 100%. And she'll win because of immigrants, illegal voting, vote stuffing, etc. Ok, she may lose the Dem primary if another new darling (or CIA stooge) appears, but the GOP isn't winning in 2016, period.

I like the idea of the Repubs winning the Senate for one reason: it will give all my mortal enemies heartburn for a few days, because most of them are too stupid to realize the Republicans in the Senate are really on their side with most of the important issues. I mean it's pretty simple. Dem voter concerns break down thusly:

Blacks: gimmedats
Hispanics: gimmedats and getting Jose and Maria into the country easily
White liberals: gays, vaginas
Asians: let us keep milking the system and get Partha and Ching Li into the country easily

That's really it. Senate Republicans are not opposed to any of this. But still, it will be fun to watch the Usual Suspects blow a gasket thinking that gays are about to be put into prison camps and women will be forced to have Christian babies and blacks will be shot randomly on the street by racist white cops. I mean they really believe this stuff.

Mike said...

Odds I would give on the three approaches:

1) 68%
2) 30%
3) 2%

HC issue shows you how masochistic the Millennials are. It hits them directly in the wallet and directly affects their QOL...and they couldn't care less.

Serious question: how bad does the economic environment have to get for the 18-34 group for the economy to trump pet social issues like gay marriage and abortion?

In a recent ZH article, they threw out this statistic:

However, Millennials are different from previous generations in many ways. For example, today’s 25-34 year olds are more likely to be minorities (40%) and a higher share of them has college degrees (35%). In addition, they are choosing different fields of study in college: while engineering was in the top five bachelors’ degrees awarded in 1980, in 2010, psychology replaced it in the top five rankings.

Sad to say, but issues like deficits, runaway entitlement spending, even job growth just don't register with this group, and the demographic mix makes it less likely that it will change anytime soon.

If that group doesn't push for repeal of the ACA, who will? Millennials continue to amaze me in their efforts to accept less and less.

Anonymous said...

prediction: republican senate will finally pass immigration "reform" and do what obama was unable to - finally destroy republicans. hopefully they lose tomorrow.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Thanks for comments. I think the GOP gets to 51 seats possibly 53. You guys are forgrtting that the House was the big roadblock on immigration and will remain so due to greater voter sensitivity. My bet is GOP takes scalpel approach because they'll have to do something but will chicken out from full repeal.

Unless of course their balls grow 3 sizes bigger.

Stirner said...

I am guessing a scalpel approach will be taken. The dog that didn't bark during healthcare reform was the insurance companies. They didn't raise one objection to the Obamacare reforms, mainly because they were the ones writing the bill through their lobbyists.

Single Payer? Over their dead bodies. Obama-care's huge benefit to the health insurance is all the FEDGOV subsidies being paid out to.....the health insurance companies. They are now latched onto the government tit, offering expensive insurance with crazy high deductibles and getting the government to assist in paying the bills.

Look out it as a bailout for the Health insurance companies. They make all their money on the float from premiums. That is a busted business model in a zero interest rate environment. What to do? What everyone in the FIRE sector has done: get a government bailout.

It's genius. The easiest way to ration healthcare is to make more consumers pay out of pocket, and hesitate to pay the price for marginal tests, checkups, and medical interventions. Raise the deductible, and you get folks to self ration.

Republicans are going to be shocked at the health insurance objections to full Obamacare repeal, and will have to adjust accordingly What we will probably wind up with is a sanely modified version of Obamacare. The subsidies will flow, but states will have much greater leeway to tier and modify insurance packages.

Will Obama sign such legistation? Now that is an interesting question

nikcrit said...

I Think the alt-right makes to much of the ACA; it isn't the financial boondoggle you make it out to be; it's basically an expanded HMO.

I'm not going to pretend i have all the nuanced financial projections at my fingertips, but i figure what it costs additionally in funding the program can be made up by reducing the emergency costs accrued from having to pick up indigent care in recent years. And as for it leveling quality hierarchies in healthcare plans, i'm sure new increments of quality will develop; I mean, those who have always find a market for their needs.
And I also believe that just sticking to the core alt-right issues will greatly determine the quality of the ACA; i.e., to the extent immigration is ebbed and the underclass is contained, universal healthcare outrages could be limited.
As things were, even middle-class do-gooders were getting screwed.

Anonymous said...

Perchance to dream.

nikcrit said...

The dog that didn't bark during healthcare reform was the insurance companies. They didn't raise one objection to the Obamacare reforms,

They both complained AND wrote the legislation; bait-n-switch

peterike said...

On the election front, I've been paying just about zero attention to things. Imma don't care no mo. But I think I've stumbled across a few statements that a lot of the races are close.

In this case, my totally unwarranted prediction is that the Dems will pull an upset and NOT lose the Senate. In the past few years they've really perfected their big city vote dumping. The "105% of people voting Dem" in some districts is now a routine occurrence that draws zero press scrutiny. They learned a lot over the two Obama elections, and there are millions of shiny new immigrants ready to pull the trigger. Illegally sure, but who cares! Close races will fall Dem.

Final prediction: Dems keep the Senate. Close Gov races flip Dem. The press wets itself in happiness, questions nothing and declares that the era of the racist white male is over once and for all. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

sth_txs said...

Anyone who thinks the Republicans will do anything is delusional. The Obamacare will become another phony talking point just like taxes, limited government, and immigration.

For the record, I won't bother participating in voting since it is a lost cause anyway.

peterike said...

Of course my prediction was wrong, but that was my Machiavellian scheme. My predictions are ALWAYS wrong. So I predicted what I didn't want. Genius!

Now what will the Republicans do?

Nothing. I officially predict.

nikcrit said...

Now what will the Republicans do?

Nothing. I officially predict.

I thought you cynical alt-righters were indifferent to US electoral politics ------ that none of it mattered, dems and RINOS alike?

nikcrit said...

So what demographic-district factors explain the GOP upset in Maine tonight?

(pssst! i'll trade you Walker for one of your New England RINO governors or senators?)

Son of Brock Landers said...

Incumbents have an advantage despite the media forever portraying LePage as an idiot, which if he were a D he would be called colorful and a great poor kid done good story. Maine is white enough for enough elastic voters to give LePage a decent %, plus Cutler ate into Michaud's voter pool. In the '00s, Baldacci barely beat Cianchette who ran with no help from the GOP and far less name recognition.

Michaud is gay and his chief of staff is gay, yet no one checked to see if they were having an affair. Wonder why?

eah said...

Hypothetical: would the GOP trade repeal of Obamacare for amnesty?

nikcrit said...

Hypothetical: would the GOP trade repeal of Obamacare for amnesty?

If they did, that might surpass the stupidity of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1998 for trading Dirk Nowitzki for Robert "Tractor" Traylor.

Amnesty would cause infinitely more bleeding than will Obamacare.