Fact is, I doubt that the country's transition to ACA, despite its glitches and "let's make it up as we go along" quality, will do much to upset this country's equilibrium in any meaningful way. I've never really had strong feelings about the ACA myself, mainly because I couldn't completely understand the thing, but who couldn't miss all the political histrionics it engendered? I believe the U.S. House of Representatives has voted over 50 times to repeal it, no doubt with the unwavering support of our South Dakota Republican Kristi Noem, all to no avail. And just yesterday, Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso was on national t.v. complaining that the Obama administration had "cooked the books" in counting up the 7 million enrollees in ACA. It was an attention-getting charge, but he presented no evidence to back it up. Still, the rage is there, so much so that the GOP intends to make its hatred of the ACA the focal point of its midterm strategy this November.
Personally, I think the Republican Party is fighting for a lost cause on this one. Speaking as a Republican who is more the businessman than party ideologue, I think we have to deal with the world as it is, not how we want it to be. For one thing, this repetitive and tiresome act of trying to repeal it in Congress will probably go nowhere, given President Obama's veto power and the unlikely event that enough votes could be rounded up to override his veto should a repeal vote pass both houses of Congress. For another, all the horror stories the Republicans have been pitching about ACA don't seem to be materializing. A nice piece in Yahoo Finance today lays it out pretty well. For example, the Republican-generated hysteria about mass layoffs coming because of employer mandates doesn't explain how 900,000 jobs have been created since ACA came into being last October.
Looking ahead, the Manufacturers Alliance For Productivity And Innovation is sanguine. Last month it told Industry Week "manufacturing will grow faster than the overall U.S. economy, according to MAPI. It expects manufacturing production to increase 3.2% in 2014 and 4.0% in 2015." These kinds of increases occur with job growth, not massive layoffs. Republicans should be listening to their core constituents about their outlook for a society with ACA. And if manufacturers aren't enough to seal the deal that ACA is likely here to say, listen to what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents 3 million retailers thinks. Chamber President Tom Donohue said last January, "we have to devise ways of making it work."
This strikes me as the kind of pragmatic attitude that the GOP should adopt, mainly because I think the firestorm of contempt for ACA is beginning to wear itself thin. Yesterday's ABC News/Washington Post poll showed more Americans favoring it than opposing it for the first time, which I believe will be a trend that continues as people get used to the idea of dealing and living with it. If Republicans think they can tap into a groundswell of rage against Obamacare, they're making a big mistake.