Monday, November 25, 2013

Twilight for the Republicans



What a month!  Even with a major diplomatic coup in bringing Iran to the table to discuss a nuclear weapons ban, the Obama administration still finds itself under fire for the bad roll out of "Obamacare," with many media outlets presenting it as his Waterloo.  Few news outlets mention the 26 Republican governors who refused to extend Medicaid in their states for those who fall between the cracks of current Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, nor the steady stream of deceit and lies by the Republicans to mischaracterize the ACA.  It seems the GOP, and in particularly the Tea Party, thinks it can ride a failed Obamacare to victory in the 2014 midterms.

The only problem is that Obamacare isn't failing.  It may have gotten off to a bumpy start but as of Tuesday afternoon (November 19), at least 130,000 persons had signed up for insurance plans in 14 states under the new state health insurance exchanges.  The federal exchanges have reported fewer new subscribers, but HHS seems to be working out the bugs at HealthCare.gov, so enrollment should rise considerably in the months ahead.

Of course, this doesn't stop the GOP from flogging Obamacare every chance it gets.  It realizes it has one and only one issue to exploit.  Even the historic Geneva agreement on Iran's nuclear program is being cynically presented as a "ploy" to deflect attention away form Obamacare.  I suppose it is also deflects attention away from the Democratic Senate greatly reducing the Republican use of the filibuster with the so-called nuclear option.  

Many conservatives see their loss of the filibuster on presidential appointments as the loss of checks and balances.  This after blocking no less than 80 Obama appointees, including Elizabeth Warren, who ended up in the Senate thanks to their efforts and now sits in the Banking Committee.

So, what's left for the Republicans?  It seems that all their best laid plans to reclaim Congress and in turn the White Hosue have been laid to waste.  Never have the Republicans looked so impotent.  Even with Obama's sagging approval ratings (currently standing at 42%), he polls much better than the abysmal Congress, at an historic low of 9 per cent. While it seems voters blame Republicans and Democrats alike, Republicans have been fairing the worst in House and Senate state polls.

At what point do the Republicans quit trying to blame what they perceive as a "failed state" on Obama and actually become involved in the political process?  There really has been nothing like this in the recent past.  You'd have to go back to antebellum America to find a more recalcitrant Congress.  Even during the notorious Jim Crow era there were in roads made.  Today, belligerence seems to be what Teabaggers respect.  Any attempt to compromise is seen as weakness and the potential for Republicans to be "teabagged" in the primaries.

While the Democrats' future may ride on the success of the Affordable Care Act, an initiative which began in Congress, not the White House, the President continues to serve his role on multiple fronts, including engagement with perceived "terrorist states" to achieve a common good.  One can only hope Americans come to recognize these efforts as being in their best interest.

17 comments:

  1. Yup. The right wing "genius" has done it again! Rush Limbaugh compares rule changes to rape:


    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/22/1257708/-Rush-Limbaugh-compares-Senate-rules-reform-to-rape



    You gotta shake your head in utter disbelief as to the stupidity of this guy.

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  2. Contrary to the lies from the controlled reich wing media, Obamacare is working:


    http://www.bigeddieradio.com/blog/default.asp?NID=2454



    And the tide is turning in favor of it!

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    Replies
    1. That certainly appears to be the case. I think at some point the media will finally catch on.

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  3. A young college student I know has one of those policies of last resort because you have to be insured to attend college here. Her policy was cancelled and she was very upset. Montana is one of the states who left it to the feds, so we probably won't know all the options for awhile, but one coop here I checked offered much better coverage than she has now for $45/mo with subsidies. But she didn't even know how to check. I think as word gets out, and the exchanges are actually working, people are going to realize how amazing this program is -- and I'm a single payer advocate.

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  4. Oh, and I forgot. Her policy was cancelled but they offered her one at $200 a month without telling her of other options. That's why she was so upset.

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  5. The most upsetting thing is how the media played up the website problems, as if this was the be all and end all of "Obamacare." Yellow journalism at its worst. It's like a bunch of bookies handicapping a horse race.

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    Replies
    1. The NY Times reports that, indeed, Obamacare successes are not being reported by the controlled right wing media:


      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/29/opinion/krugman-obamacares-secret-success.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1&



      Also take note of these sites:


      https://www.facebook.com/acasuccessstories

      https://www.facebook.com/ilikeobamacare

      https://www.facebook.com/acasignupsuccessstories


      THOUSANDS more newly covered and many, many more lives are being saved. This is what every real American should want.

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  6. Another thing that got misreported during the initial start up of the program was the initial uptick in support for the program (this was before the report of failures became so widespread).

    I think this was because people finally saw it for what it was -- affordable health insurance, not socialized medicine as the right kept describing it. Time will tell if they can win back that support in the next few months. My guess is they will.

    But I will give some support to the media reporting the problems. I agree with liberal reporters like Ezra Klein that you can't ethically ignore that. But it is good to see supporters pushing back with the other side of the story, as slow as it is in developing.

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    Replies
    1. No you can't ignore the problem, but the media jumped all over the website problems as if it was a total failure, letting the Republicans off the hook when it came to their refusal to extend Medicaid in 26 states. This is journalism at its worst.

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    2. But now that the website is working properly and people are signing up, you only see a trickle of stories in the mainstream media. Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to peddle the same tired old story of a failed Obamacare.

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  7. "Last month, CNN reported that HealthCare.gov had gone down again. A quick look at the screens made it clear that whatever the problem had been, it was fleeting.

    Mr. Zients’s metrics, meanwhile, are improving. When the repair effort began, response time — how long it takes a page to load — averaged eight seconds; now it is less than one. The error rate — how often users are unable to click through to the next page — was 6 percent; now it is 0.75 percent. When Mr. Dickerson announced that the day had ended with no major crashes and no one who could not log in, the engineers erupted in applause."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/us/politics/inside-the-race-to-rescue-a-health-site-and-obama.html?pagewanted=7&_r=0&hp

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  8. Now of course the Republicans are complaining that not enough people are signing up at healthcare.gov. I wonder if they even know how ridiculous they appear?

    Am reading Double Down now. Collision was very well done, but DD is so much more fun to read.

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  9. The sad part is that the Republicans seem to have lost all self-awareness. Even sadder, there is a significant portion of Americans who don't hold them accountable. More and more, they have created a separate and wholly detached "reality" for themselves impervious to criticism.

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  10. It looks like the improvement of the ACA website is finally gaining traction,

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/02/republicans-just-don-t-care-if-healthcare-gov-is-working-or-not.html

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  11. Here's one of the more disturbing stories I've heard if it's true. Mississippi established a really nice looking exchange and ad campaign that apparently worked very well -- http://www.mississippihealthpool.org/index.php -- but then ... the governor pulled the plug on it. The site's still there, but you can't enroll or shop for anything. Last night Rachel Maddow compared it to Kentucky which had one of the most successful roll outs. Makes me wonder once again what in the world is wrong with this country that you would not only want to deny your residents access to health care but access to private health insurance.

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  12. They are determined to make Obama's administration a failed presidency. They have gone after ACA at every level, literally cutting off their noses to spite their faces. It really is unprecedented for a political party to try so hard to undermine a standing president.

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  13. Kentucky Governor To Mitch McConnell: Get Your Facts Straight On Obamacare:


    WASHINGTON -- It was just Wednesday night that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) railed against the Affordable Care Act, calling it a "catastrophic failure" for people everywhere.



    But the governor of McConnell's home state came to Capitol Hill on Thursday with a vastly different message: the health care law is working, and people in Kentucky can't get enough of it.

    "I have a U.S. senator who keeps saying Kentuckians don't want this. Well, the facts don't prove that out," Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) told reporters.

    Beshear said more than 550,000 people have visited the state's Obamacare enrollment website since it launched on Oct. 1. More than 180,000 have called into the health care call center and about 69,000 people have signed up, or about 1,000 Kentuckians per day. Of those who have signed up, he said, 41 percent are under the age of 35.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/kentucky-governor-mitch-mcconnell-obamacare_n_4391860.html?ref=topbar

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