Pundit Wire

“Rope a Dope” or “Oh, the Humanity!”

whitehouseI know the polls are crushing to the White House.

I know the Republicans are delirious with joy over the possibility that the confounding and disastrous rollout of the Affordable Healthcare Act could swing enough votes to have them capture both the House and Senate in 2014.

What I do not know is the eventual outcome of the health care program as it rights itself from its capsized start.

What if, in 2015 and 2016, the number of uninsured Americans is dramatically reduced?

What if, in 2015 and 2016, healthcare costs to individuals and families are markedly less than in 2012?

What if the insurance industry is more accountable and more accommodating to the reality of treatment and costs?

It turns the issue from the Hindenburg crash into Rope a Dope—the Mohammed Ali tactic that wore out George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle”.

(Forgive me, younger readers, you probably don’t know either of these too historic events…but allow me to prattle on.)

There is a distinct possibility that ACA will work.  Yes, there are troubling aspects, “If you like your insurance you can keep it”, is the worst.  But this reckless comment, defended early on by the White House, despite acknowledging inside that it was not true, will be corrected, but with not without astounding damage to the President and the program itself.

Time cures many disasters and the rollout debacle is among them.

While some of the rabid right continue to believe that repeal of the ACA is within reach, the more sensible, though in sad decline, understand the reality that the horse is out of the barn.  Adjustments and improvements to ACA are inevitable, even the White House understands that.

The continuing evisceration of the ACA in the media and the national polls, though there are considerable differences in the polling as to acceptance and rejection, will not  lead to it’s termination.

Obamacare is here to stay.  Disaster or long term success?  Time will tell.


Bob Neuman served as a speech writer and administrative assistant to Rep. Morris Udall. He is a former DNC communications director.

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  • jimjaffe

    think you’re right that Republicans are misreading a flawed execution. Question isn’t whether computers work now, but whether significant numbers of people are more comfortable with their health coverage in the years ahead, an outcome the GOP anticipates that will make repeal more improbable with each passing day.