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EDITORIAL: Obamacare Will Mean All or Nothing for Obama, Democrats
Like him or not, President Obama decided early on to swing for the fences by pursuing Obamacare and giving it all he had--and all his Democratic Party had. In the closest of partisan votes, Obamacare just passed Congress and is now in its initial stages of implementation.
Political observers across party lines have noted that the future of Obama's party, at least in the 2014 and 2016 elections, rises and falls on whether Obamacare comes out smelling like a rose. Right now, the jury is still out.
Over half of the country has deep concerns about a public policy that had no bipartisan support. Moreover, the President's recent decision to postpone a key Obamacare deadline for the employer mandate by a year has even raised Constitutional questions. Can a President just decide which parts of the new Obamacare law he wants to implement?
However, the real issues on the minds of Americans have more to do with the substance of than with procedural problems. Will Obamacare improve the health care system, making it accessible to millions more Americans who have been without health care coverage?
Or will the system we have be so damaged by government tampering, with the quality of care going down significantly as doctors retire early and waiting a long time for an appointment becomes commonplace?
Politically, many observers had their breath taken away by all the chips that the Democratic Party decided to put on the table to back their new President Obama. As the old saying goes, they bet the farm. That is about to become a real concern for Democratic party leaders and officeholders heading into crucial elections in 2014 and 2016.
After all, if the Republicans can ride a wave of anti-Obamacare sentiment next year, they may take the U.S. Senate, while keeping the U.S. House of Representatives.
That could mean a long, tough last two years for the Obama Presidency--with his party in tatters heading into the 2016 Presidential election.
Swinging for the fences for that grand slam home run may seem marvelously bold at the time. However, President Obama has taken everything in the Democratic savings account to bet that his idea of a new, government-managed health care system is superior to all other suggestions. Don't forget: the Republicans offered many amendments to improve the President's Obamacare bill--and the Democrats rejected every one of them.
Time will tell if the Obamacare gamble was worth the risk for the Democratic Party. When Republicans show scores of small business owners who have determined that they can no longer add anymore full-time positions due to Obamacare, that may be when the rubber hits the road for most Americans' verdict on this controversial federal initiative, especially those looking for work.