The Spectacle Blog

Can Democrats Save Obamacare?

By on 4.17.14 | 3:59PM

Democrats are fumbling with Obamacare like it’s a hot potato.

The White House’s inflated 7.5 million enrollee number looks good for liberals who suffered conservative taunts back in October. With the website’s abysmal failures behind them, this glimmer of hope has caused some Democrats to call for robust support of the bill:

“Democrats need to start making the case for Obamacare,” [Thomas] Mills [a consultant] said. “They all voted for it, they all own it, so they can't get away from it. So they'd better start defending it.”

This approach seems shortsighted at best. Mills speaks the truth when he says they voted for it, and conservatives will make them own it no matter what, but refusing to recognize the problems associated with the law won’t help them come election time.

Just look at the Huffington Post. Their “Obamacare” page has story after story mocking Republicans and touting the success of Obamacare, but over in the Business section (where reality hits) they’ve got the facts.

An article tells the stories of two women in California slighted by the law. Both had health plans before the ACA, but now they are paying more for minimal coverage from the exchanges. Their new insurance only covers a few doctors at a few hospitals—but none that overlap. One hospital said, “Yes we cover you," but the surgeon who works there stated he doesn’t accept their insurance.

That leaves Noam Friedlander taking out two credit cards to pay for $16,000 in surgery bills for a herniated disc. New mom Ruth Iorio is in the same place, dolling out $500 a month for medical bills related to her pregnancy:

“My insurance is pretty useless. And I'm not fussy about what doctor I see,” Iorio said. “I don't know what to do. I may just drop it for myself and keep my son on it. It's really depressing.”

Insurance agent David Fear said everyone is taking a hit because of Obamacare.

Still, these realities don’t stop Democrats from claiming success.

“I think Democrats have the ability to steal the health care issue back from Republicans,” health care industry consultant Bob Laszewski said. “The Democratic Party can become the party of fixing Obamacare.”

This oxymoronic idea that Democrats could steal back and fix something while at the same time touting its success deserves mockery. Democrats want to look like problem-solving superheroes. Obama continues to unilaterally change the law and prohibit Republicans from playing a part in the process. This makes him look gracious, when it’s really a strictly political move to keep Democrats popular.

Because of this, Republicans can’t let the public forget that Democrats are wholly responsible for Obamacare’s ill effects, while they simultaneously produce viable fixes to the health care crisis.

Democrats will own this law—for better or worse—but we need to own the solutions.

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