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Obama can’t be that naive

Published: Sun, July 1, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Perhaps he was still on cloud nine as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the constitutionality of his historic health-care reform initiative. But when President Barack Obama called on Republicans to end their opposition, he came across as politically naive. He can’t be, can he?

There’s a reason the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, reacted to the 5-4 ruling by pledging to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if he is elected. Likewise, there’s a reason the speaker of the House, John Boehner, R-Ohio, is moving quickly to repeal what is derisively called Obamacare.

Republicans believe they have a winning issue for the November general election — just as they had in the 2010 midterm elections. National polls have consistently shown that the American people do not support health-care reform as an all-encompassing law, but agree with some of the key provisions.

The GOP, aware that the tea party movement gained widespread support by railing against the government’s takeover of health care, isn’t about to let this issue disappear into the fog of political bipartisanship.

And yet, President Obama seemed to suggest that he can persuade those who seek to block his re-election bid to end the internecine warfare and put the interest of the country before politics.


Here’s what he said in his response to Thursday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act:

“The highest court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.”

Obama might not want to “refight the political battles of two years ago, or to go back to the way things were,” but Republicans have wasted no time in stepping up their attacks on him and his party.

Given the closeness of the presidential election and the national defeat suffered by Democrats in 2010 — they lost the U.S. House, governorships and state legislatures — the Supreme Court’s ruling may well turn out to a political disaster for them.

Had a majority of the justices declared the health-care reform act unconstitutional, the president and his party could have campaigned against those heartless Republicans who don’t care if you can’t get insurance because of a pre-existing medical condition, or because you are among the working poor. They could have told young people up to the age of 26 that the GOP took away their ability to be on their parents’ health insurance. And they could have told senior citizens that the cost of prescription drugs will skyrocket because the Republicans are owned by the pharmaceutical companies.

Finally, they could have said to working people who make minimum wage and do not receive health insurance from their employers that the Republicans prevented them from joining Medicaid, as the Affordable Care Act would have allowed.

But now, Obama and Democrats have to defend the health-care law against the uncompromising Republicans. That won’t be easy to do, given the growing perception that this is nothing more than the president pushing his socialist agenda.

Smell of blood

Obama may want to change the political conversation in the next four months leading up to the general election, but Romney, Boehner and the rest of the GOP on the national, state and local levels smell blood.

It doesn’t matter that Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the deciding vote in the Supreme Court, was appointed by a Republican president.

Indeed, in joining with the four liberal justices on the bench, Chief Justice Roberts may have unintentionally hurt the president — while supporting the health-care reform initiative.

In upholding the legality of the individual mandate, which is fueling the opposition, Roberts said Congress had a right to “tax” Americans who do not purchase health insurance. The law talks about a penalty, but the chief justice used the “T” word.

In so doing, he gave Republicans another avenue of attack. The narrative is already being repeated ad nauseam by GOPers: Obama said the law does not increase taxes, but the Supreme Court says it does.

The GOP isn’t about to make nice with President Obama.


1averagejoblo(4 comments)posted 4 years ago

The GOP isn't about to make nice with America either methinks. Given the state of the economy when President Bush left office, or should I say the deep gaping chasm that was our economy, I would say that President Obama has done a very good job. But that hasn't stopped the GOP from blaming their mess on him. That certainly isn't "making nice', nor is it very truthful. Given the possibility of a President Romney, why not take a look at how he might view helping the economy. Romney's Bain Capital owns Talk Radio shows that appeal to basest natures, such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Jan Mickelson, shows that boost ratings by promoting fear, hatred, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and violence, shows that bend, distort, and misrepresent the truth, the mouthpieces for what many are calling The American Taliban . Ownership of these programs clearly signifies Romney's willingness to finance any sort of vileness to make money, which leads me to wonder what could be in store to shore up America's economy. Pay per view shows might be one way. Feeding gays to lions, scantily clad females convicted of using contraceptives, or having abortions (no matter the reason) forced to wrestle to the death, lesbians forced to have sex with men chosen by lottery, are ideas that certainly would be in line with Limbaugh's ideology. Democrats forced to play Russian Roulette, liberal judges who rule in favor of women choosing what to do with their own bodies and doctors who perform emergency abortions being hunted by by NRA members seem in line with Becks views of what America should be. We know Iowa what radio host Jan Mickelson would like- a show about pistol whipping any nuns who criticize, or disagree with any GOP policies. A Romney presidency could really fill the coffers, and the GOP could finally be rid of it's critics, once and for all.

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2Jerry(861 comments)posted 4 years ago

........."And yet, President Obama seemed to suggest that he can persuade those who seek to block his re-election bid to end the internecine warfare and put the interest of the country before politics.".........

Ending President Obama's time in the White House and getting rid of Obamacare IS in the best interest of the country.

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3chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 4 years ago

An unintended consequence of The Affordable Care Act is that individuals close to retirement may do so early.

The cap on insurance premiums for someone at 400% of the proverty level (single individual= $44,680) is $4,246.

Health Insurance for $363.00 per month so long as my income stays below $44,680.

Early retirement will be inevitable for many of us. The problem is that the young workers will be financing this, just the way they will be funding social security. And the bar for the cost of healthcare and insurance will not be bet downward as timmie ryan concludes.

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4Spiderlegs(161 comments)posted 4 years ago

Maybe Obamacare should be replaced, but the Republicans have not shown us the alternative. Highlighting this as an issue will only help Obama in the long run because of the Republicans' own ineptness in dealing with health care issues.

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