The flip the script moment in the great national health care debate came late in the game. In January, after the Scott Brown victory in Tax-achusetts, it seemed like there wasn’t much of a public appetite for comprehensive reform.
But a couple of months later it was the President himself who pointed out that Republicans keep yelling from the rooftops ( And by that I mean on Fox News ) that the Democrats will suffer a major bloodbath in the mid-term elections if this massive health care bill ( which besides being enormously complicated essentially expands Medicaid ) goes through. This is from a March 8th NY Times article:
“We may be nearing the final act for this bill and the legislative process,” the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said in a floor speech on Monday. “It’s just the beginning for those who support it. Americans don’t want this bill. They’re telling us to start over. The only people who don’t seem to be getting the message are Democrat leaders in Washington.”
Mr. Obama scoffed at Mr. McConnell’s warning.
“First of all, I generally wouldn’t take advice about what’s good for Democrats” from a Republican, Mr. Obama said to laughter in Pennsylvania. “But setting aside that, that’s not the issue here. The issue here is not the politics of it.”
Of course we know what happened next…the bill was signed on March 23rd. And here is the funny thing…Obamacare may wind up helping New Jersey ( the state which elected the antithesis of Obama nine months after the new prez took office ). I’m told that certain Federal Medicaid rebates ( perhaps up to 8% ) for managed care may become available in the third quarter of this year. That could mean tens of millions of dollars that would help restore funding which will enable the state to make funds available elsewhere and perhaps soften the blow of other proposed cuts.
We caught a glimpse of this recently with the restoration of the Senior Gold and PAAD programs. It appears as though there might be additional monies beyond even that. It might allow the Christie Administration more flexibility with health care dollars and an ability to claim ownership of the economy and the budget just as these dollars are kicking in, and the overall economic picture improves.