Could the troubled Affordable Care Act rollout get so bad or last so long that Democrats will turn on their party leader’s signature legislation?
That’s Monday’s narrative thanks to two articles, one by Josh Kraushaar at National Journal andone by Todd Purdum in Politico, which read in last week’s vote for Fred Upton’s bill to extend insurance policies portents of Democratic defection. Quoting Kraushaar’s piece, “Why Obamacare Is On Life Support”:
Unless the HealthCare.gov website miraculously gets fixed by next month, there’s a growing likelihood that over time, enough Democrats may join Republicans to decide to start over and scrap the whole complex health care enterprise.
[…] Would President Obama sign a death warrant on his own signature legislation? That’s almost impossible to imagine, but it’s entirely reasonable that he may not have a choice in the matter. Consider: Despite the White House’s protestations, 62.4 percent of the House voted for Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton’s legislation (261-157), just shy of the two-thirds necessary to override a veto…
Democrats are in better shape on the Senate side, but not by as much as conventional wisdom suggests. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will do everything in his influence to protect the president—and block embarrassing legislation from being voted on—but not if it means he’ll be losing his majority gavel next year…To overcome a veto, Republicans would need 22 of those 28 winnable votes. Right now, they wouldn’t come close. But Reid and the White House may end up relying on swing-state Democrats like Claire McCaskill and Bob Casey to protect the law. If the political mood doesn’t improve in short order, will they want to be in that position?
When you’re doing a veto-override head count, you’ve just book a week’s stay in Serious Town, right?