Sean Sullivan lists the five biggest political questions for the next phase of the Obamacare battle:
- Can Obama be an effective advocate for his law anymore? Obama knows he needs to regain the public’s trust and good will gradually. It’s not going to happen overnight.
- Will the Republicans stay out of their own way? If the Web site problems fade from the forefront, the policy discussion will dominate once again. The question then becomes whether conservatives will restart their crusade to repeal the law.
- Will congressional Democrats begin to fall in line or move further away from the law? What the White House needs is a unified party with a consistent message regarding the health-care law. That’s not what they have now.
- Will enrollment bolster the Democratic case or the Republican one? [Low enrollment numbers] will fuel Republican arguments that the law is a disaster. [High numbers] will bolster the administration’s case that people want the new coverage options. Young people in particular are a crucial demographic.
- Will the GOP embrace an alternative? The fact that [House Speaker John] Boehner isn’t committing to [a GOP alternative] right now suggests the GOP believes its best play is to keep the focus on the Affordable Care Act.