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Saturday, Aug 30, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

Looming: The Harry Reid Majority Leader Obamacare delay

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If this sounds like something you’re heard before, you have: There’s another unilateral amendment rumored coming for the Affordable Care Act. You know, the eminently malleable Law of The Land. Honestly, if the thing were a member of the animal kingdom, it would be a centipede; that’s how many shoes it’s dropped.

Clodhopper No. 30 is yet another delay. Actually, it’s an extension of an existing delay, which in this context is sort of like spreading rancid meringue on one of Minny’s chocolate pies.

According to The Hill, which prides itself on being the news center of record in Washington, the White House plans to extend the grace period for allowing medical insurance plans that don’t fulfill all of Obamacare’s ambitious (and in many cases useless) coverage dictates, such as maternity care for men, and pediatric care for post-menopausal women.

Having failed last fall to convince Americans that cancelled plans were the substandard fruit of “bad-apple insurers,” the extra-legal one-year “keep your plan” so-called “fix” was the administration’s hard-to-swallow solution … until Obama’s political operatives figured out the calendar. Without an additional delay, fresh cancellation notices would have gone out in the weeks before Oct. 1, putting even more pressure on Democrats battling to keep their teetering majority in the Senate.

According to an industry source quoted by The Hill, “I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September. Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”

This is what the high-fallutin’ folks who surfed into the White House on a wave of hope and change have been reduced to: Rash acts of cynicism in hopes of preserving Harry Reid’s firewall. As the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto noodles it out:

“The political imperative is clear. If Republicans take a Senate majority—a strong possibility, given that Democrats are defending many seats on unfriendly terrain – then the Senate GOP, for the first time in Obama’s presidency, [has] the ability to force votes on legislation, and even to push some Republican bills through Congress.

“True, the president has his veto pen (or is it a phone?), but he hasn’t used it since the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has seen to it that bills Obama opposes never make it to the floor of the Senate, which frees the president from the political cost of vetoing anything popular.”

In short, the President and endangered Democrats are counting on just enough Americans being just sufficiently ill-informed to miss that they are being played. This, too, sounds familiar, and frankly, why wouldn’t they? It’s worked before.

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