Matt HealeyWednesday,2 October 2013

The Snap:

The latest attempt by the evangelical christian party of god to stop the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from going into effect is the delay tactic. This was unveiled on Sunday morning. The basic approach is to delay the law for 1 year so that it can be fixed.

The Download:

Like most proposals on this topic, this one seems reasonable at first blush. The ACA is expected to have some problems in implementation. After all, the goal of the act is to enroll millions of Americans into the healthcare system. This is a massive effort and there will be problems. There always are problems for programs this big. Additionally there will be unintended consequences. Things that need to be changed as parts of the law are not going to work the way the architects intended. So why not work together, as the Tea Party is saying, to fix as many of the problems before the law takes effect?

The problem is that no one who has been following this debate thinks that there is any chance that if the law is delayed, the Tea Party will try to work across the aisle to fix any of the problems. I know that is what they say they will do, but in a case like this I think it is important to look at their actions as a guide to what would happen in a delay. The place to start is the 40 plus votes that the House has taken to repeal the law. Does that sound like a group that is trying to fix a law or kill it? Maybe if the vote was to replace this law with a version that was expected to fix its problems, then we could say that the goal was to work together, but it wasn’t; the votes were to repeal with no alternative. Then there is the effort that has been put into complying with the law. An organization that wants to work together to improve a law will at least begin to implement some of the provisions fully and try to implement and alter others.

On that note we have to move to the state officials. One of the provisions is the establishment of state run insurance exchanges where consumers can select private insurance policies. If the state chooses not to implement the exchanges, then the federal government will do it for them. There are currently 26 republican-led or republican-leaning states that have chosen to give control of these exchanges to the federal government Further you have evangelical christian party of god members like Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens openly saying he will do “Everything in his power to be an obstructionist.” Finally, there are a handful of states that have decided simply that they will not enforce the provision of the law . This is a similar tactic that they took when the conversation was gun control. It seems that when a law the Tea Party doesn’t like is passed, they simply ignore it.

So when you hear that “all we want to do is delay the law so that it can be fixed,” keep in mind who is saying this and what the past track record is.

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Hat Tips:

MSNBC, TPM, Raw Story, Think ProgressImage Credit: Flickr

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