Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another GOP Waterloo

Since September, Republicans have gone whole-6 hog on running their 2013, 2014, and 2016 campaigns against Obamacare. The first look at completed application statistics indicates that this may have been a fatal miscalculation.

The truth is that in October, more than 1 million Americans have already applied and are eligible for coverage. That was while the federally-run website was having its worst technical challenges. By all indications, the system is improving drastically week-by-week. Applying for health insurance will probably never feel like a flawless, well-designed online shopping experience. It doesn't have to, and spending taxpayer dollars on website design is a waste.

This month's rage-a-thon about the 3% of the insurance market who (a) were healthy enough to not be excluded on the basis of pre-existing conditions, (b) could afford to purchase a plan, and (c) are too wealthy to qualify for subsidies now may be spending more for health insurance in 2014. They're more likely to actually receive the benefits that they purchase. 

Republicans should be panicking that they've spent the last 3 months talking non-stop about a benefit that will be -- at-best for Republicans in 2014 -- a wash. Even Ken Cuccinelli, the best-positioned Obamacare foe in the 2013 cycle, couldn't win an election in a Confederate state on a stridently anti-Obamacare platform, following a month of relentlessly negative news about implementation.

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