The Republican Party has been in perpetual war against Obamacare, but Obama may have the last laugh. PHOTO: Reuters
The Republican Party voted to couple keeping the lights on in the government to defunding Obamacare today, which was about the 40th time (not joking) that they have voted to repeal, defund or delay Obamacare. Since 2010, Obamacare has been a singular focus for the Republican Party. Anger around Obamacare fueled the Tea Party takeover in 2010 (well, that plus some Koch brother money), and Republicans are trying to focus the 2014 midterm election on Obamacare as well.
And right now is a crucial moment for both the Democratic and Republican Party to do their messaging on Obamacare, because the health exchanges created by Obamacare are about to go online on October 1st. Millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance will be able to check out their options in a new marketplace. For many people, this will be the first time they are actually engaging with Obama’s number one legislative achievement, which has been a three-year rallying cry for the Republican Party.
The separate components of Obamacare have always been more popular than just the term “Obamacare,” and the health exchanges, which provide a market for insurers to offer their services to generate competition and drive down costs, are getting good reviews in their limited exposure so far. The greatest fear of the Republican Party right now isn’t that Obamacare will proceed as planned. It’s that Obamacare will come in and people will like it.