Over at NRO, David French has written a post entitled “The Tea-Party Plan to Delay/Defund Obamacare Was Not Only More Realistic, It Was More Compassionate”:
Not only did the tea-party plan have a chance, it was far less cynical and far more compassionate than the Republican alternative. The Republican alternative to the tea-party plan boils down to this: Let the people suffer (also called ”let Obamacare implode”), then they’ll come to us, we’ll win a [bunch] of elections over several cycles, then we’ll make it better.
Well, step one is working (if that’s the right word to use). People are suffering. Over the weekend, NBC News reported that 460,000 Americans in just two states (California and Florida) face insurance-plan cancellations as they’re being driven to the non-functioning exchanges. That’s ten times more people facing cancellations in just two states than have (allegedly) enrolled in Obamacare plans nationwide.
Imagine being a middle-aged man or woman, staring at a cancellation notice, and desperately trying to sign up for new insurance through a website that doesn’t work. How would you feel?
I don’t have to imagine - I am staring at a cancellation notice and at a website that doesn’t work. And all the Republican glee about how bad the roll-out has been is making me, what’s the word, oh, yeah - bitter.
You know who else gets this? Ezra Klein, of all people:
A lot of liberals will be angry over this post. A lot of conservatives will be happy about it. But it's important to see the Affordable Care Act as something more than a pawn in the political wars: It's a real law that real people are desperately, nervously, urgently trying to access. And so far, the Obama administration has failed them.
I hate ObamaCare with a passion. If someone sat down to deliberately design a crummy health insurance plan, ObamaCare would be the result. But we’re stuck with it. We might have been able to kill it somewhat gracefully even a month or two ago; we might, possibly, have been able to kill it in the past two weeks; but now it’s too late. It’s certainly the case that the long-term effects of letting it survive are going to be unfortunate (to say the least) but by now the short-term effects of killing it are too visible to allow us to drive a stake through its heart.
And you know what else? The Republican plan, as outlined by French, isn’t going to work. There just aren’t that many people who are going to suffer from ObamaCare or who would suffer if it imploded. I think about three Left-leaning friends who consider ObamaCare the bee’s knees. One of them is on Medicare; one of them gets health insurance through a retirement package; and one of them gets health insurance from an employer. None of those people are going to suffer from ObamaCare, at least not anytime soon and never in any direct way. Any consequences they feel from ObamaCare or from an ObamaCare implosion are down the road (certainly past the 2014 elections) and will be explained away as the result of something else (Republican obstructionism being the most likely candidate).
I don’t expect Republicans to help fix ObamaCare: the Democrats created it, they own it. But I do expect the Republicans to stop doing touchdown dances at the news that their fellow citizens can’t buy health insurance. At least fake a little compassion. And if you could manage to suggest an alternative - a simple alternative - to letting people suffer, that would be nice, too.