Democrats on the run; you could set your watch to it


Say what you want, but we’re all pretty clear on what the Tea Party and the far right wing of the Republican Party stands for: opposing President Obama on everything and obstructing government.

What do Democrats stand for? Well, that depends. Democrats are fond of nuanced positions. And truth be told, they’ll run like scared cats at the first sign of trouble. It's happening again with the Affordable Care Act.

After surviving every kind of assault, from lawsuits to GOP threats of a government shutdown — the ACA is facing its worst foe: frightened Dems.
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As President Obama’s poll numbers begin to slip following the rocky rollout of the ACA’s website, leading Dems are jumping ship and distancing themselves from anything to do with the law. The situation has worsened as many people lose their current insurance because it doesn’t meet the minimum standards set in the ACA.

Ezra Klein reports in the Washington Post that some Dems are jumping on the bill proposed by Senator Mary Landrieu, which basically tries to hit the reset button on the president’s promise. If people want to keep their sub-prime insurance, then “go for it,” is the thrust of the bill.

Klein correctly points out that the bill would blow a hole in the hull of the ACA. In an effort to keep the promise, the bill encourages more elderly and sicker enrollees. For the ACA to work and keep premiums lower, younger and healthier enrollees are essential.

Obama has said from the beginning that he expected the law to be tweaked and improved over time. But opening the law up at this time with this Congress would practically guarantee its gutting or killing.

Republicans have rushed to the airwaves to be the first and the loudest to call the president a liar. This is rich coming from a group that couldn’t have cared less when millions of Americans had no insurance, were dropped by their insurance carriers when they became seriously ill, and often faced foreclosure or bankruptcy or both as a result.

Noted economist and Harvard University professor Lawrence Summers recently appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He said that Obama has tackled a problem that has been harming the country for nearly 50 years. Anyone who thinks that the system was working well prior to the ACA is wrong, he said. Premiums were rising at an unsustainable double-digit pace for much of the last decade, Summers said, and the ACA is already doing more than what many people expected.

It’s extremely important for the health of the nation to push politicians, including Democrats, to fix the ACA instead of using it as a political football.