Posts Tagged ‘Congressional elections’

It’s all about Obamacare in America

07/01/2014, 07:00:34 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Beyond being the first African-American president, an achievement, obviously, secured on day one, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare is Barack Obama’s best, perhaps only, hope for a positive, domestic legacy. Opposition to it binds Republicans. While it’s almost 4 years since Obama signed it into law and as a result, as of 1 January 2014, 6 million Americans are receiving insurance that they otherwise wouldn’t, it remains the dominant issue in US politics.

Obama has improved the economy, repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” and exited the US from unpopular wars, while avoiding others and killing Osama Bin Laden. Largely creditable but not governing prose to match 2008’s poetry, which perhaps was pregnant with disappointment.

Equally, it shouldn’t seem too much to expect more concrete steps to eradicate the causes of the 2008/09 crash, a less dysfunctional DC, and a Middle East strategy that doesn’t cede so much to the regimes of Iran and Syria – especially when coinciding with an intended pivot to the Pacific that is not preventing China and Japan edging toward World War III.

This underwhelming record and the impending inevitability of lame-duck status makes ACA, the most significant US healthcare reform since the 1960s, vital to Obama’s submission to history’s judgment. The pendulum is swinging against his party, however.

In 2014, the Republicans are likely to hold the House and with victory in either North Carolina or Louisiana will probably take the Senate. There is a growing audience for what they have to say. It’s not clear, though, that they have much to say. Except how awful ACA is.

Re-election as governor in a traditionally Democratic state makes Chris Christie the Republican’s presidential frontrunner. To be this candidate, he’ll need to win the support of a party that brings together social conservatives and economic liberals, as well as Wall Street and rural America.

A positive platform to galvanise this eclectic bunch is a tough ask. ACA will loom large in its negative campaigning. That Republicans find it easier to agree on what they oppose, rather than what they support, means their legislative tactics will continue to raise the stakes on ACA.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon