Frum: Republicans Need to Accept That Obamacare is Here to Stay

David Frum, writing in the Atlantic, tells Republicans to move on from their Obamacare attacks.

“The party has never managed to coalesce around any replacement plan … What is clear, however, is that the Republican alternatives, such as they are, would remove coverage from many who have it now. In my opinion, that one fact is likely to cost Republicans the White House in 2016, no matter who they nominate.”

“Republicans draw comfort from polls that show Obamacare supported by less than 50 percent of the population. Those polls did not rescue them in 2012, when very few people yet benefited from the ACA, and they will do the GOP even less good in 2016. Polls asking people their views of complicated and poorly understood laws don’t tell us much about how people will behave when confronted with the stark calculus of what repeal will mean for them personally. People who disapprove of President Obama are highly likely to disapprove of a thing called ‘Obamacare’  even as they jealously protect their personal gains from that same law.”

“Republicans should accept the Affordable Care Act as a permanent new fact of American society. They should accept universal healthcare coverage as a welcome aspect of any advanced democracy. Instead of fruitlessly seeking to repeal a law now that will in 2016 enter into its fourth year of operation, they should specify the law’s most obnoxious flaws and seek a mandate to reform them.”


    1. there are a number, the employer mandate hasn’t even been put into effect and since there is an individual mandate is redundant, beyond that we want people to migrate to the ACA exchanges and away from employer sponsored insurance where employers decide if they are going to offer contraceptive care.
      another flaw is that everyone should get the same tax breaks that exist in employer sponsored insurance. If those tax breaks were included in the law (and it is right that everyone get the breaks) millions of upper class who are in the exchanges would have been more invested and would have put the fear of God into Republican legislators who wanted to take it away from them. But since they don’t have them…now I realize that aspect would have been hard to pass due to cost constraints but it doesn’t mean it isn’t a flaw.
      most of the rest are minor flaws, but I don’t want to say the law can’t be improved.

        1. lol…touche…but I was responding to what you wrote: and those “flaws” are…?
          I will admit I generally just skim over the words in the post and completely missed the word obnoxious in Frummies statement. for dummies like me I would have gotten your point if you posted both words.

    2. It’s not single-payer. Every country with single-payer would have riots if they tried to switch to an American-style system.

      1. every country with the American system would have riots if you nationalized 1/6 of the economy overnight.

        1. I didn’t say overnight. The ACA came into effect over time, giving states and businesses and people time to adjust. If the ACA had included single-payer, then people would still have had time to adjust. There would be a bunch of sad rich investors who own insurance companies, and there would be a lot of unemployed insurance bureaucrats, but I’m not going to say everyone should be stuck with a suboptimal system in order to keep providing indirect corporate welfare.

          1. lol. rich fantasy life might explain this. politicians introducing a system guaranteed to cause massive unemployment and job-sector disruption?

            even without supermajority requirement, I’d love to hear the real world plan to get that past the incumbent political power among the malefactors of great wealth and rent-takers in the existing system

          2. Democratic majority in the House and Senate. So not until after redistricting, most likely. They dropped it from consideration last time because they needed the Blue Dogs, but now that they’re effectively not a factor, a ‘Medicare for all’ system could be put on the table. The Medicare system already exists, so it would purely be a matter of expanding it to cover everyone. Then people can still get supplemental insurance or go to private facilities if they want, but everyone can get regular care and hospitals can get out of the business of itemizing every aspirin at $30 to comply with insurance requirements.

          3. I love the idea of Medicare for all. If it were not for Lieberman’s perfidy last time around we might have gotten it into this bill.

            I agree that is the path to single payer, but I also see the step we did take as a pragmatic (that is, possible) step in enabling that directon.

  1. This is kind of funny. Republicans thinking of ACA as a permanent part of the political reality???? They don’t even accept SOCIAL SECURITY as part of the permanent political reality. They are still living in the 1930s, attitudes evidently passed down from their grandparents. That is the business Republicans. The Tea Partiers, when all is said and done, will benefit from ACA to a very high degree, yet many will double-think it all – they will hate it, while using it.

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