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Matt Vespa


October 23, 2013 - 6:21 pm

So, did Republicans win the battle over Obamacare after all?  The government was shutdown for a little over two weeks due to budgetary differences, specifically over Obamacare.  On the eve of the shutdown, Sen. Harry Reid talked the president out of negotiating with Republicans.  Reid also rejected a conference committee by House Republicans to resolve the matter.  Inside the White House, Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president, maintained the “no compromise” aura surrounding the president.  In the end, the government reopened, the GOP licked its wounds, and the administration mulled delaying the individual mandate; wait — what just happened?

In the aftermath of the shutdown, some in the world of political punditry, specifically the left-wingers,  harped on the GOP’s record low approval ratings, their loss of any leverage for future battles aimed at curbing the size of government, and how this will all culminate in a 2014 GOP thumping. Additionally, the moderate wing of the GOP – and their allies in the media – lamented that the story could’ve been about the failed rollout of Obamacare, instead of the government shutdown.

First, conservatives are furious with the Republican Party, which contributes to those sagging numbers.  Second, we’re probably going to get a delay in the individual mandate.  The endless – and torturous – saga that is, which HHS officials knew was defective, was a gift.  Did anyone think that all of these issues could be fixed in a few days?

The nerd herd that’s been summoned to fix this debacle noted that the website “didn’t have a chance in hell.”  To put this disaster into perspective, nearly five million lines of code need to be rewritten, which is why most tech experts are calling for a complete “overhaul“of the site.  So, for those on the right who were shivering in their boots that the GOP were going to get skewered post-shutdown, you’re wrong; Obamacare is front and center.

Delaying Obamacare was what Republicans asked Democrats in return for not shutting down government or playing with the debt ceiling.  They rejected the offer.  Now, they’re being forced to accept what could’ve spared those non-essential federal employees – and countless veterans – so much grief.  It’s the seat of irony. Oh, how many donkeys are lining up to support delay? Well, every Senate Democrat running in 2014; that’s 21 votes.

So, I guess for liberals, like the Atlantic’s Molly Ball, they should consider adding updates to their previous analyses concerning the shutdown, especially after Ball wrote this on October 16:

Obamacare will not be repealed. Obamacare will not be defunded. Obamacare will not be delayed. The individual mandate will not be delayed. The medical-device tax will not be repealed. The health-insurance subsidies given to members of Congress and their staffs will not be taken away.


[A]ny leverage they ever had to push their goals of reducing the size of government and chipping away at health-care reform is gone.

All in all, it’s been a worthwhile exercise for the GOP.

Indeed it has been.  We got what we wanted.  After all, if the individual mandate is delay, it could unravel the whole law.

So, in all, it’s time for the members of the Establishment GOP shrieking at Tea Partiers for not knowing strategy to shut up! We’re only at this point because conservatives decided to forgo the usual “wait and until tomorrow” approach – and other half-measures – that get us nowhere in the fight against this left-wing administration.  We shut down government; we weren’t going to let Obamacare go during these budget negotiations; and we’re on the cusp of achieving what some Democrats already agree on: a delay of the individual mandate.


Matt Vespa is a web editor at and occasional writer for Hot Air, RedState, and Townhall Magazine.

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All Comments   (5)
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The website is just a part of the problem for Demos.
For the next several weeks, every working person in the US who has employer-paid insurance is going to have to renew their company health insurance. As much anxiety as the cancellation/rate increases of individual plans have caused, just wait until that big envelope from the insurance company shows up in people's mailboxes. There will be more shreiking than Halloween.
Just about all group policies are going to have 2 features, thanks almost entirely to PPACA: your renewal options are going to be reduced, and your premiums are going to go up, in many cases by a lot.
Because your group policies have to provide coverage required by PPACA, many lower priced plans just won't cut it, and have been removed as options from your group plan.
Secondly, just about every rate for 2014 I've seen has been significantly higher than the similar plan from 2013. Just about all of us working folks were used to 3% or 5% or 7% rate increases every year, and that usually doesn't cause a stir. How about 10% or 15% or 20% (or more!) for your family's coverage.
Many employers will try to soften the blow, but get ready for millions of working Americans to be slammed with significantly higher health care premiums for 2014. Joe Lunchpail is going to be hit, hard, to keep coverage for his family, and there isn't much the employer or the employee can do about it.
There is just no way the MSM can cover this one up, and no way they can blame the Repubs, although they surely will try.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Obamacare will not be repealed. Obamacare will not be defunded. Obamacare will not be delayed. The individual mandate will not be delayed. The medical-device tax will not be repealed. The health-insurance subsidies given to members of Congress and their staffs will not be taken away."

And Miss Molly believes all of those things to be positive developments.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is a prime opportunity for the Tea Party men and women in Congress and the Senate to stand up as one, point out that Obamacare passed without a single Republican vote in either the house or Senate, was passed against the will of the majority of the people, was warned of being a disastrous budget buster, and was passed under questionable means.

It should be further pointed out that the government shutdown was simply to try to get it delayed because there were legitimate concerns about the workability of the law.

It should then be pointed out that Obama and the Democrats refused at every turn to compromise or negotiate on anything - and now are in the process of suggesting themselves the very thing the Republicans unsuccessfully tried to talk the Democrats into - a delay in the law!

The Republicans should then give the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) a big fat 'I told you so! ' and walk off the podium.

Don't let Obama and the Democrats simply own this debacle - hang out around their frickin necks with a logging chain!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes! This really is an opportune time for an articulate conservative to tie a few loose threads together for those who have only recently pulled their heads up out of the sand for a moment.

We need someone who can tell the story of why calling attention to trying to defund Obamacare was such a "big effing deal" (as my Vice President might put it) and that the mess that is emerging is not a surprise but was expected. Maybe then they'll start to believe some other sobering facts about why outcomes matter more than intentions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, did Republicans win the battle over Obamacare after all?

The Republicans could have stood there with their thumbs in their butts and grins on their faces or done what they did, however reluctantly. The first option would have been a sure loser.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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