So the ACA website is working more or less. And the chance of repeal seems increasingly remote. And the GOP has yet to offer any alternative to the core problems addressed by the ACA. And Obama is, we are told, going on the offensive to sell the law more aggressively.
It seems to me that we are entering a long, grueling process of adjustment to a new reality of nearly universal access to health insurance. And that’s not because the argument for Obamacare has been won on the merits. Far from it. It has only won by default so far, since the GOP has decided to offer no alternative except the mess of the status quo ante. It’s because the interests of so many – from insurance companies to drug companies – will resist repeal almost as much as those people who now have access to reliable health insurance for the first time. Michele Bachmann was right about one thing. The GOP had one chance to stop Obamacare and it was at the last election. The question now is simply what price the GOP will extract from the ACA’s survival.
Which could be one hell of a price. Change like this will roil the political waters for quite some time. It may be catastrophic for the Democrats next November … or not. When you remember the huge political surprises and mood-swings of just this fall, only a fool would predict anything. But it’s interesting to see if and how a two-term president can actually grind out a historic reform crafted in his first term. The long game is now. And it’s far from over.
I tackled the perhaps-too-easy clash between Pope Francis and the Pope of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh. We wondered if the avocado should have ceased to exist by now (if only). I pondered how the church can truly harness the genius of women and the heroic tragedy of Dan Choi. The Window View contest this week was a real toughie (we need to keep you on your toes). And the Face of the Day was an angry beard.
See you in the morning.
(Painting: The Parable Of The Rich Fool, by Rembrandt.)