JANUARY 28, 2015

Has Obamacare become a 'third-rail' issue for liberals?

The president didn't mention his singular law in his State of the Union message
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WASHINGTON, DC – Discussion of Obamacare was "remarkably" missing in the president's State of the Union address this week, remarked Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, asking "was it because the Affordable Care Act has become a third-rail issue for liberals?"

Weber noted that the poll watchers in the mid-term elections largely credited the popular dislike of the healthcare law with the resounding gains made by Republicans in November. 

"Before the mid-terms, the president, himself, bragged that it was his policies - including Obamacare - that were on the ballot with the result that liberal candidates across the board took a drubbing.  The GOP picked up nine Senate seats, giving the party control in that chamber.  The Republicans also substantially increased their majorities in the House and in state legislatures across the country."

A month later Harvard's Jonathan Gruber, who was a consultant at the inception of Obamacare, "blew the whistle and said that passage of the law was enabled by the 'stupidity of the American voter.'   And now, the full, negative impact of the law is emerging as new revelations come to light," Weber said.

He cited journalist Steven Brill, who said in a recent 60 Minutes interview, Obamacare got through the solidly Democratic Congress in 2010 as a result of an "orgy of lobbying" and backroom deals.  He told reporter Leslie Stahl that "just about everyone with a stake in the $3-trillion-a-year health industry came out ahead – except the taxpayers."

Brill is a knowledgeable and successful businessman.  He founded the cable channel, Court TV, and he said in his new book, America's Bitter Pill, that the country cannot afford the Affordable Care Act.  As he put it: "We have no way in the world that we're gonna be able to pay for it."
There will undoubtedly be many more disclosures in the coming weeks and months, particularly as the Republican Congress seeks ways of excising the most onerous and unpopular provisions of Obamacare, Weber said.

"But the most important bit of news may come in June when the Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on a lawsuit that has the potential of dismantling the law.  The suit contends that, under Obamacare, Federal healthcare exchanges cannot pay insurance subsidies.  The subsidies are critical to the implementation of the law and without them alternative, user-friendly healthcare insurance substitutes may have a chance of replacing Obamacare."

The White House maintains that it was not the intent of the law to restrict subsidies.  But, Weber pointed out that Gruber, a so-called architect of Obamacare, is on record as stating flatly that the subsidy restriction was intentionally included in the law.  He said that it was a "political calculation" designed to encourage the establishment of state-run healthcare exchanges.

"Thus, it may be that Gruber's words may hold the key to the law's undoing."

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