Central View: ObamaCare vs. the ‘Man of La Mancha’
Ryan Summerlin October 24, 2013
As this writer predicted back in August, the ObamaCare train wreck ran through and almost demolished its own ticket booth (the computer entry portal outsourced to CGI, a Canadian software firm) during the train’s initial run on October 1, 2013. Unfortunately, the Canadian company will repair the $515-million-dollar ticket booth (entry portal) and more passengers will get to experience the sticker shock of ObamaCare tickets.
Senator Ted Cruz (D-TX), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and a handful of other Senate Republicans tried, and failed, to rally enough votes to de-fund ObamaCare. Their futile efforts call to mind Mark Twain’s famous aphorism, “Always do right. This will please some people and astonish the rest.” Senator Cruz and crew did what they felt was right. Those who oppose socialized medicine were pleased. Those on the other side of the issue were astonished.
Unfortunately, because the GOP only controls one-half of one-third of the federal government, the Republican minority found itself like Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha,” trying: “To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go…”
While admiring Sen. Cruz playing Don Quixote as we might, I wrote back in August, “Advice to the GOP. Don’t pick a fight you cannot win. After the [ObamaCare] train wreck, Republicans can pick up congressional seats in the election of 2014. Morally correct? No. But this is politics, not Philosophy 101… Eventually, even if the Republicans do what they think is ‘right,’ public pressure for the resumption of government services will force them to fund ObamaCare. Moreover, Mr. Obama will still be in power…”
Provided the GOP does not form a circular firing squad between now and the 2014 congressional elections, the Republicans stand a good chance of increasing their numbers in the U.S. House and even gaining a slim majority in the U.S. Senate. Then and only then, will it be politically possible for the GOP to give Mr. Obama the starring role in “Lame Duck Dynasty,” and start applying the brakes to ObamaCare.
We have already learned that ObamaCare increases the cost of health-care insurance coverage for most Americans in 45 out of 50 states. Or, to Mr. Obama’s way of thinking, make that 45 out of 57 states. Each day, there will be new revelations about health-care professionals seeking early retirement or going into other professions outside the clutches of ObamaCare.
Soon, even the low-information voters will realize that keeping their own physicians will rarely be possible and that the inevitable shortage of health-care professionals is leading to increasingly longer wait times for care and to the inevitable rationing of certain life-or-death procedures to the detriment of those who will simply die while they are waiting in line for the procedure that could have saved their lives.
Ironically, the far right of the GOP may rescue ObamaCare by deciding to punish incumbent Republicans whom the far right perceives as not having fought hard enough to de-fund ObamaCare. If the GOP is to hold the House and gain a majority in the Senate, it can ill afford to cashier a single GOP senator who holds a safe seat. Congressional politics is a game of numbers. It is not about ideological purity.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.