Republicans Should Focus on Year Delay in Obamacare

Republicans need to recast their demands in the coming debt limit negotiations from total defunding or repeal of Obamacare to a one year delay in the implementation of the individual mandate. In doing so, they will pick up support from millions of Americans who are just confused by Obamacare. Most people have no idea what the law will and won’t do and feel totally unprepared to decide on the health insurance plan that is right for them.

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The idea that a few hours from now, they will be asked to sign on to a health insurance plan when we still don’t know the premiums, the co-pays, the deductibles, which doctors and hospitals are in and which are out of the network is outrageous.

A delay would also underscore that President Obama has already granted delays to employers in meeting their mandate, so why not grant them to individuals as well?

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Then there is the fact that Obamacare is not ready for primetime. The administration will have no way of determining if a person is already insured through his employer. And it is planning to accept without verifying the income claims of each applicant for subsidy, secure in the knowledge that nobody would low-ball their income to get a larger subsidy. Obama calls this the honor system. Come on.

President Obama, for his part, did himself no favors today when he said he would not negotiate with House Republicans over the debt limit. The most important advantage Obama has in his battle with the GOP is the Republican reputation for stubborn intransigence earned in the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996 and during the impeachment of President Clinton. The CBS/New York Times poll shows that in a government shutdown, 44 percent would primarily blame Republicans and only 35 percent would blame Democrats. But by vowing not to negotiate, Obama could change these numbers to his disadvantage.

His advisors must have read his poll numbers in the wake of the Syria negotiations and his dealings with Iran, felt he was looking too weak and decided on a tough approach to the House to rectify it. But the public expects and will demand negotiations.

Republicans are on the right track now. Keep it up, guys!

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