09.18.2013 0

Ignoring Obamacare opportunity

NobamaCareBy Rick Manning

A version of this article appeared in TheHill.com.

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous quote, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before,” has never been more relevant than it is today when discussing ObamaCare.

House Republican leadership effectively gave up the fight to stop the law when their 2012 election plan failed, leaving them stuck with another four years of President Obama and two more of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The mantra has turned to the almost whiny complaint that they only control one House and it is unfair to push them to do anything given their woeful position. If only the voters had voted for Mitt Romney and a gaggle of Republican Senate candidates, it could be all different, but they didn’t so the people will just have to live with ObamaCare.

It almost makes you wonder why this crew fought to lead the House Republicans again if they were just going to pout and take their marbles home.

If they would get their heads out of their crying-towels for a minute and look around, they would discover that the political landscape surrounding ObamaCare has changed dramatically.

Warren Buffett is now arguing for scrapping the entire law because of the harm it is doing.

Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) General President Terry O’Sullivan bitterly attacked ObamaCare at the national meeting of the AFL-CIO saying, “we’ll be damned if we’re going to lose our health insurance because of unintended consequences in the law!”

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters president James P. Hoffa and two other major union heads sent a letter to Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanding that they do something about ObamaCare: “Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the [Affordable Care Act] will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

The President had to scramble this week to keep the AFL-CIO from passing a resolution in favor of repealing ObamaCare.

The Democrats are in crisis over the implementation of ObamaCare. Only about 50 percent of the regulations are in place, and the system is not ready for roll out. The health information that is being collected is not protected from being stolen from the system. If implemented, ObamaCare is going to be an unmitigated disaster, and the Democrats know it.

More importantly, their political partners in the labor movement are now demanding that they fix it or repeal it outright.

The politics have shifted. Reid and crew can’t just dismiss House Republican efforts to defund the law out of hand, because their political constituencies are demanding they deal with the coming ObamaCare onslaught.

In spite of themselves, House Republican leaders are on the precipice of a major victory, if only they will remember the words of Emanuel and seize the opportunity.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communication for Americans for Limited Government.

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