So Republicans hold 52 Senate seats that could be 54 after December 6th!
In an earlier post, we predicted that "practicality and discipline" could yield ten seats for Republicans. They are a razor thin margin from that outcome! The question becomes, "now what?"
It comes as no surprise that Barack Obama isn't happy. In fact, he appears slightly disoriented. In his eyes not enough people voted and those who did were in the wrong states. His agenda? Well, it will continue, come hell or high water.
Many including myself believe that he is baiting Republicans. An impeachment attempt could return support to his column. The best way to make this happen would be to do something unthinkable. Such as execute an Executive order that would give amnesty to millions of undocumented persons currently in America.
The midterms are history. Obama is not concerned with re-election. He did make a promise to certain constituencies. Thus far, he hasn't delivered on it. In short, what does he have to lose?
While the public is weary of gridlock, the wind in no longer at the President's back. Smart money suggests that the legislature will address immigration reform during the next six months. However, as Speaker Boehner warned, the President's decision to act alone could "muddy the water" to the extent that nothing could be accomplished.
Some Republican Neo-Cons are hinting that the party should be satisfied to "take the low hanging fruit," such as Keystone and Corporate tax reform. True, there is sufficient support amoung Democrats to gain a consensus. Equally true is the fact that if the President balked on either, he would be further blamed for the gridlock that persists in Washington. There is only one problem!
He doesn't care!
Republicans will have six months to focus on righting many of the wrongs that have prevailed during the past six "nasty" years! The issue most Americans have on the top of their list is "Obamacare." True, it will be a fight. But, there may be enough votes to override a veto.
Politically, it's a gamble, albeit not a huge one. There is bi-partisan support for getting rid of parts of the Affordable Health Care Act. Reality dictates that the overall plan is too flawed to even tweak. Better to kill it now, without further adieu!
Republicans need to come up with an alternative that is easy to understand, that includes everyone. The plan needs to be based on Americans' number one want: "To lower health insurance premiums." Let's face it! We have a "health insurance problem," not a "health care problem."
A "half-penny national sales" tax, that would be used exclusively to set up a nationwide catastropic/continuous care pool," would be fair. Everyone would participate. Everyone would have access. The pool would only kick in when an annual claim or collective claims reached $10,000. At that point, the pool would cover 80% of the cost. The percentage would climb to 85% at $50,000 and cap at 90% when the tally reached $100,000.
The plan would be allow insurance companies to cross state lines. And, it would include "loser pays tort reform."
Without question, such a proposal would gain bi-partisan support. The issue of "pre-existing conditions" would be answered. And, due to the increase in competition, everyones' premiums would go down!
Barack Obama would be placed in an awkward position. If he opposed the measure, he would be advocating exclusion for roughly 40 million countrymen.
It wouldn't matter! Probably 75 Senators would vote for the alternative. The Affordable Health Care Act would be history. Republicans would be heroes with the American people.
Republicans could then accuse Democrats of attempting to "slip Socialism through the back door via their fated bill," further damaging the Democrat brand. It could have a devastating impact on the 2016 election!
Certainly there are those who would oppose the alternative. And there would obviously need to be considerations requiring further study. But the overall impact would be increased compeitition and less defensive medicine.
An argument can be made to implement the "Cat/Con" pool at the state level. This would almost certainly make the plan more efficient. And, there is always the possibility that insurance companies could co-op the pool.
Any way you cut it, this plan is far superior to the Affordable Care Act. It comes down to Republicans practicing what they have preached.