Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Delayed, But Not Denied

I’m not sure if this is a brilliant tactical move on the part of the President or a tacit admission that getting Obamacare fully enacted will be more difficult than anticipated:

(CBS News) The delay of a key provision in President Obama's health-care law is being called a major setback for the president's signature issue.

The controversial provision that requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide coverage or face fines is being delayed by a year. The rule is now on hold until 2015 - after the 2014 midterm elections.

That last clause is the key: “after the midterm elections.”

This move prevents Republicans in Congress from running against the rollout of the legislation, especially as there will likely be hiccups and false starts along the way at the beginning of implementation.

And it gives the Democratic heir to the Presidency – because let’s face facts, no Republican is going to win in 2016 – a leg up to point to the successes of the Obama legacy, including his signature advance in progressive thinking.

Not surprisingly, Max Baucus, who is to Democratic politics what Vidkun Quisling was to Norwegian sovereignty, has called the entire piece of legislation a “train wreck.”

It probably wouldn’t have been such a train wreck if serious efforts to bring you and the other party-unfaithful into the fold.

Indeed, it’s particularly galling to see this parallel:

With next year's midterm elections looming, that kind of feedback troubled leading Democrats like Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, who staked a lot of political capital on the law. He said, "I just see a huge train wreck coming down."

On Tuesday night, Republicans who remain staunchly opposed to the law, which passed without a single GOP vote, said the announcement was vindication. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, "Even the Obama administration knows the 'train wreck' will only get worse."

Weaker Boener. Senator Baucus. Both use the same blast-fax metaphor.