In the wake of the monumental disaster surrounding the rollout of Obamacare, many Democrats in both the House and the Senate are running for the tall grass. Senators from vulnerable seats such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana are having particularly painful heartburn.
But I have a simple, straightforward and ultimately very effective way for Democrats to avoid having to hide.
Come out in favor of repealing Obamacare.
Of course, derisive laughter will arise from every Republican quarter. Rush Limbaugh will have a field day. Campaign ads will brim with charges of hypocrisy and flip-flopping. But for many Democrats, and perhaps more than is realized, that’s a small price to pay in order to save their careers.
In both houses, but especially in the Senate, Democrats should cobble together enough of their caucuses so as to form a veto-proof majority and go to their Republican colleagues and say, “We’re with you just this once. Let’s kill this thing,”
With 61 percent of the country – according to a CBS poll this week – now saying they disapprove of Obamacare, it’s a ‘can’t lose’ for Democrats.
It wouldn’t be an entirely bitter pill for the Democrats. Republicans are rather enjoying watching the Democrats squirm. Obamacare was a 100 percent Democrat creation and Republicans are quite content just now to let them stew in it. Democrats coming out in favor of repeal would rob the Republicans of their schadenfreude.
But in the end, Republicans would have no choice but to go along with Democrats in a repeal effort, even if doing so would have the effect of giving Dems some cover in the 2014 elections.
Good policy is good politics and the best possible policy is to get this horrendous law off the books as quickly as possible so that cleanup operations can begin.
There are many problems with the way that healthcare in the United States is currently financed – long acknowledged by the GOP – and some targeted legislation aimed at correcting some of those flaws would be welcome. Republicans are on record as having proposed a boatload of such legislation.
But what could not be proved in rhetorical debate prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act is now being proved by actual practice. Wholesale annexation of healthcare by the federal government is simply not possible in any way that can actually work.
However bitter it might be for them to do so, Democrats can only do themselves good by acting to correct the mistake they made.