Memo to Democratic Chicken Littles: The Sky Is Not Falling

Ah, now this is what politics is supposed to be like: Ruthless Republicans, gleeful at the prospect that they might increase the net total of human suffering. Timorous Democrats, panicking at the first hint of political difficulty and rushing to assemble a circular firing squad. And the news media bringing out the "Dems In Disarray!" headlines they keep in storage for just this purpose.

The problems of the last couple weeks "could threaten Democratic priorities for years," says Ron Brownstein. It's just like Hurricane Katrina, says The New York Times (minus the 1,500 dead people, I guess they mean, though they don't say so). "On the broader question of whether Obama can rebuild an effective presidency after this debacle," says Dana Milbank, "it's starting to look as if it may be game over." Ruth Marcus also declares this presidency all but dead: "Can he recover? I'm sorry to say: I'm not at all confident."

Oh please. Everyone just chill out.

It's incredible how often reporters and pundits proclaim that what's happening this week is the most important political development in years, and the balance of political advantage today will remain just as it is indefinitely into the future. Then a few weeks or months later things change, and they forget about what they said before, declaring once again that today's situation is how things will be forevermore. Not long ago, people were saying that the fact that Obama couldn't get a congressional vote authorizing a bombing campaign in Syria had crippled his presidency. Then the Republicans shut down the government, and people were saying they wouldn't win another election in our lifetimes. That's just in the last few months. And now people are saying that Obama's second term, which has three years left to go, is an unrecoverable disaster.

So let's try to see things from a less panicky perspective. The rollout has been a mess, but it's important to remember that this period is all a preparation for the actual implementation of the law. Nothing that's happening now is permanent. People have gotten cancellation notices, but no one has lost their coverage. The website sucked when it debuted, it sucks slightly less now, but there's still lots of time for people to sign up for plans that take effect next year. And if things aren't working properly by December, they'll probably extend the open enrollment period to a point at which everything's working. That's a hassle, sure. But you can't call the Affordable Care Act a failure until it takes effect and does or does not achieve its goals. That would be like calling your team's season a failure because they lost a couple of pre-season games.

A few Democrats will probably vote today for the Republican bill that purports to address the problem of cancellations but it's an attempt to gut the entire ACA. That's because they're cowards and fools, who think that they can protect themselves from a momentary political headwind by rushing into the Republicans' arms. And you know what will happen? Nothing. You can just add this vote to the 47 prior ones repealing the law; it'll have the same impact. It won't ever get to the Senate, and even if it did it wouldn't ever be signed by the President. It isn't even worth paying attention to.

Here's what's going to happen. The administrative fix Obama announced yesterday will temporarily staunch the political bleeding. But it will have very little effect on the actual insurance market, which is a good thing. In some states, insurance commissioners won't let the insurance companies continue to sell the junk plans we've been talking about. In others, insurers won't want to go back and re-offer the plans they cancelled. Some of the people with the junk plans will end up keeping them, but most of them will end up going to the exchanges. Many will find that they can get subsidies, or even without them find an affordable plan. Some may find that they're paying more for a plan that offers real insurance. Those in the latter group will grumble, but it won't be front-page news anymore, because the media are extraordinarily fickle, and they've already told that story.

Over the next year, the rest of the law will be implemented. There may be problems here and there, but overall it will probably go reasonably well. There will be plenty of things Democrats can point to in order to convince people that it was a good idea, like the fact that now nobody can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or the fact that millions of people who couldn't afford coverage or were denied before now have it. There will also be things Republicans will say to try to convince people it was a terrible idea, like the fact that premiums didn't plummet, and health care is still expensive, and Obamacare didn't give every little girl a pony.

And what else will happen in the next year? Other things. The economy may get worse, or it may get better. There may be a foreign crisis. Controversies we can't yet anticipate will emerge, explode, then disappear. A young singer may move her posterior about in a suggestive manner, causing a nation to drop everything and talk about nothing else for a week. We might start talking about immigration reform again. There's going to be another budget battle. In other words, all sorts of things could affect the next election, and the election after that.

So yes, this is a difficult period for President Obama, and for the Affordable Care Act. But everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember that things will change. They always do.

Comments

Interesting to watch the MSM go Republican on us. After all, Microsoft never had a problem with a Windows rollout, and Apple's mapping application was a complete success. See! Free enterprise always works!

Google is paying 75$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. On sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. its the best-job Ive ever had.It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out Buzz95.com

Obama thinks so since he's desperately asking private tech people and insurance cos. to fix Obamacare for him.

DERPBAMA!
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/3020/2xk2.jpg
"Everyone chill...I got this"
Hey, you Obots all remember those days? HAHA!
http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/1403/q7hz.jpg
WyattDerp
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/6286/6sud.jpg

Yes, everything is wonderful. Now stick your head back into the sand.

The BP oil spill was Obama's Katrina
Benghazi is Obama's Katrina
The ACA is Obama's Katrina

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Can I borrow your spines, Democrats for a rubber band?

No one has lost their coverage, you say. Yeah, but within a month, 5 million people need to find new coverage so they are insured on January 1st. And they will be expected to do this by means of an infrastructure that does not work, and probably will not be fully operational for at least another year.

Paul Waldman obviously doesn't have an individual policy. And like any good Republican posing as a Democrat, he couldn't possibly care less about those who'll be harmed. I've got mine, now let 'em get theirs he says.

Paul Waldman, you make me want to vomit.

Actually, the sky is falling. Especially for those subject to Obama's "fix" that leaves them twisting in the wind for the next year (right up to the 2014 congressional elections) wondering whether or not they'll be able to still afford their insurance. But hey, you stay the course...

The following links in no way shed light on my snarky comment.
http://www.youtube.com/rcgladstone
http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/xxalivexx
http://www.facebook.com/gladRocks

There is a reason that the Ds front loaded the goodies in the beginning and back loaded the worse parts till after Barry was electorally safe. This is just the first shoe to drop and it is not even the biggest. Wait till the law of unintended consequences get holds of the group market....

Yes. The Democrats have little to worry about. We're entering a new era.

"Why Barack Obama Won Twice"
http://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/why-barack-obama-won-twice/

The only thing Obama has accomplished is being elected twice. All he wants to do is campaign: Let's imagine that America is invaded by aliens. They vaporize Congress and melt down the Statue of Liberty. What does Obama do? He hits the campaign trail. "It's time for the Martians to pack their bags and leave the USA!" he tells screaming crowds at a university event in Boulder, Colorado. "I won't negotiate, or retaliate – I'm just gonna stand here and wait until they go away!" http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100239694/us-shutdown-obama-hits-the-campaign-trail-yet-again-hed-probably-do-that-if-aliens-invaded/

Waldman must believe in unicorns or alternatively, you've been toking on Mayor Rob Ford's crack pipe. Just a few ugly facts for you loon boy. Once the employer mandate kicks in, small businesses will drop their coverage for employees because most of those plans do not meet the Obamacare mandates. Those people will be thrown into the exchanges and many will more in premiums and have much higher deductibles than they do now. The same may be true for large employers who may find it is cheaper to pay the fine than to upgrade the coverage they provide to employees....ergo, more people forced into the exchanges. This is a recipe for electoral disaster..millions of angry people right around election time 2014. The result will be a Republican Senate and a bigger Republican majority in the House. Can't wait to see Hagen, Landreui, Pryor, Begich, and others on the attack ads saying "if you like your policy, you can keep your policy." RLMFAO

Yep, just wait until all these "progressive" pundits have to start shopping on the exchanges, and find out how expensive and skimpy those plans are. They'll find out just what "junk insurance" actually is.

Oh here it is again: The "Junk plans." How do you know those millions of plans are "junk?" Because Obama told you so? Please. Stop insulting our intelligence. Clearly, junk or not, people wanted to keep those plans. We all know now that the entire ACA was set-up to make sure double-digit health care plans would "fail" their bogus criteria standards, forcing those double-digit millions into the system whether they wanted it or not!

The time for denial and lying is over. Obama's Frankensurance is being hunted down by the village mob. He can get out his violin and play for the monster, but it won't change the end of this story. As for the sky falling for the Democrats. Oh yeah it is.

Well at least Mr Waldman is honest. Yes Obama LIED. Yes every Democrat in Congress LIED. Yes they've perpetrated the most massive fraud in history on the American people. Yes what Obama said this week about letting people actual keep the insurance plans they like is another LIE meant only for political purposes and won't mean anything. Yes, the Obama has proven with the Website that his regime is the most incompetent in all of history, and that a Government led by him and/or Democrats can never succeed at anything that requires competence. But never mind, don't freak out. Things change.

that's right. at the base of it, over and over again, this pompous amateur proves only that he is not and was never fit to properly lead. all the cult of personality voters in america, including educated progressives who damn well ought to know better, this is on their hands. we said it, long ago. this man is not experienced, has never run anything, is essentially narcissistic, probably to a delusional level, and cannot properly lead. and that's what's been proved, now beyond a shadow of a doubt. you clowns should be embarrassed listening to his hour long excuse ridden ramble. but you're not......

that's right. at the base of it, over and over again, this pompous amateur proves only that he is not and was never fit to properly lead. all the cult of personality voters in america, including educated progressives who damn well ought to know better, this is on their hands. we said it, long ago. this man is not experienced, has never run anything, is essentially narcissistic, probably to a delusional level, and cannot properly lead. and that's what's been proved, now beyond a shadow of a doubt. you clowns should be embarrassed listening to his hour long excuse ridden ramble. but you're not......

The title says it all. All the democrats in Congress as well as the WH needs to calm down. There is absolutely no reason to panic Just make sure as many people get covered as possible - that has always been the goal,

yeah, right. that's what this mess is accomplishing. the goal is laudable. the idea that this inexperienced and essentially narcissistic president could assemble a competent team to implement the goal is what's always been in question. and now, everything we said has proven true. maybe listen to the adults next time, children. want to cover the indigent? create an idea that does that, even if it involves even more taxation, your stock in trade. but leave the rest of us out of your bureaucratic bungling.

you haven't even begun to see the sky fall, chief. america is waking up to the truth about this, and the "i wasn't aware"-in-chief.

An impressive display of delusion.

The sky is falling, and for one simple reason - Obamacare's underlying arithmetic is now being exposed. The only way the program could guarantee coverage for the previously uninsured, and with added kickers like no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, was to dramatically hike the costs for everyone else. This was to be achieved by driving people off previous coverage and on to the exchanges, where they would be forced to overpay for insurance they didn't want or need.

Now it may be completely fair to propose this, and to do this -- as long as there is a reasonable debate about it ahead of time and people understand what it is they are buying into.

But no such debate took place, and for obvious reasons. The administration understood that if the real math and the real mechanics were ever revealed, the bill wouldn't have had a chance of passing. Look at the trouble they had getting it through even with the underlying math hidden!

No, it had to be presented with all kinds of misdirection and magical thinking: everyone could keep the coverage they had, everyone who had previously been uncovered would be covered, no one could be denied coverage, coverage would be expanded to include new benefits...yet at the same time, costs would come down. Two and two would magically equal five.

Now the reality emerges, and the underlying scam is in plain sight. And -- surprise! -- people are unhappy. Yet Mr. Waldman writes, in a passage that surely raises idiocy to an art form, "Just make sure as many people get covered as possible - that has always been the goal."

But the problem has never been the loftiness of the goal. What matters is the means by which that goal is achieved. And it is here that the whole scheme collapses as the previous layers of obfuscation and outright deceit fall away. Mr. Waldman can trot out all the self-righteous posturing he wants to -- or, when that fails, construct a parallel universe where good intentions trump actual outcomes.

In the real world, the disaster is just beginning.

oh, but it is falling. Law sold by not being truthful and pushed down in a partisan manner. Should have sold an expansion of medicaid and medicare - but they knew it would not work. Well the current law will not work.

Simple math. 50M uninsure vs. 250M insured americans. 80% of insured are at least moderately satisfied with their coverage. So if we add the 20% unsatisfied to the 50M uninsure, we still have a 2 to 1 margin of people covered and moderately satsified against the rest of the country. No way to win and it is playing out.

Funny how these authors just dig an inch or two beneath the soil and think they are qualified to expound on the earth's core. Page 70,601 entitled "Catastrophic Plans", November 26, 2012 Federal Register, Volume 77, Issue 227. All the Obamacare defenders, all of the Obama defenders, feeling so justified at the MILLIONS OF CANCELLATIONS because, bbbbecause well ah, um, all those millions of cancelled Individual Market policies being summarily cancelled - they're just barebones Catastrophic substandard worthless coverage anyway. Not that better Obamacare stuff. Snuck into the aforesaid federal register on Black Friday 2012 and becoming law after passing unnoticed during the comment period - Obama unilaterally gave everyone political and journalistic cover to bash individual policies AUTOMATICALLY DEEMING ALL INDIVIDUAL POLOICIES AS CATASTROPHIC (so they could continue mindlessly referring to these Individual Plans as substandard). The ACA DEFINES all individual policies as falling beneath the lowest Obamacare Bronze Policy, which is really garbage coverage. Millions of individual policies were carefully chosen to optimally fit the needs and circumstances of the individuals who bought them. They in fact do cover most or all of the Obamacare sacred 10 coverage areas (except for the new law making mental health be on a treatment parity with physical ailments).

The government simply renamed ALL INDIVIDUAL & SMALL MARKET PLANS = CATASTROPHIC PLANS ( and, again, all of the no-nothing journalists could keep referring to the cancelled policies as blessings in disguise). Nothing could be farther from the truth.

"A few Democrats [39, and that was Obama's "fix" or it would've over 100] will probably vote today for the Republican bill that purports to address the problem of cancellations but it's an attempt to gut the entire ACA. [No, it's not. It's to honor Obama's promise.] That's because they're cowards and fools [How is that you can attack your own w/o mercy or understanding? Would you like being called the same by someone who disagrees w/ you? And you characterize the GOP as "ruthless"? Have you no shame? Why don't you shoot the wounded?], who think that they can protect themselves from a momentary political headwind [obviously you have run for office or worked on a political campaign] by rushing into the Republicans' arms [they aren't doing any such thing; they are responding to their constituents, which is what representatives are supposed to do]. And you know what will happen? Nothing. You can just add this vote to the 47 prior ones repealing the law; it'll have the same impact. It won't ever get to the Senate, and even if it did it wouldn't ever be signed by the President. It isn't even worth paying attention to. [False. It won't become law, but if "get to the Senate" you mean the floor, perhaps (that's what Reid usually does), but some Dem senators running in '14 WANT a vote to go on record as supporting the bill. No doubt, they are "cowards and fools" also; would you put in a commercial opposing their reelection or would you mind the GOP quoting you?

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