After all the hemming and hawing we heard these past 6 months, "Obamacare" delivers on its goal of 7 million subscribers putting conservatives in their biggest tizzy fit since Obama was re-elected in 2012. "How can that be?" many ask, refusing to accept the numbers, or babbling that less than half of those who signed up will pay the premiums, even though initial reports show 85 per cent of subscribers meeting their initial payments.
The scariest thing for Republicans is that the federally sponsored health insurance program might actually work. It has a sufficient "pool" to keep rates down. Obama's big push to lure young Americans not covered on their parents' plan (the age was increased to 26) seems to have yielded a great number of new subscribers. His appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis was priceless. His popularity among the youngest demographic of voters remains high, and this was the ideal medium to reach them, showing off his sense of humor. Something Republicans seem to completely lack these days.
Still, many remain skeptical, and even the mainstream media continues to fidget, generating a faux scandal over the "dissing" of Kathleen Sebelius? Congressional Republicans wanted her head back in October when the launch of healthcare.gov got off to such a rough start, but she more than held her own in the faux Congressional hearings that followed, and has been actively working behind the scenes ever since to keep this program moving forward.
So, what does this say about the midterms? Polls show support of the Affordable Care Act is trending upward, reaching a high of 49 per cent this week. The Republicans may want to rethink their strategy, as they will really be taking a fall if approval continues to grow in the wake of the success of the health insurance exchanges.
I'm sure the good doctor will be making a great number of house calls to continue to denigrate "Obamacare." But, he will look even more the lone wolf, as the AMA has long supported the ACA, offering advise on how to navigate the website and get the best coverage.
It seems the GOP still can't get over King Barry slipping this health care bill by them in Congress. It's not like they didn't put up a big temper-tantrum, just as they did in 1993. However, they didn't count on the Democrats sticking together on this one and pulling Arlen Specter from their ranks to get the 60th vote they needed to carry the Senate. This was why they were so excited about Scott Brown winning the Massachusetts Senate special election in early 2010, chanting "41," only to be outflanked once again when Obama was able to get House Democrats to accept the revised Senate Bill in full, not having to submit the bill to a second vote in the Senate. Ted Kennedy must have smiled in his grave.