HOT BLAST: Obamacare's lengthy and painful gestation
Jul 23, 2013 | 1544 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
President Barack Obama, standing with families who benefited from the health-care law provision that provides consumers with a refund if their insurance company doesn’t spend the majority of premium dollars on medical care, speaks about the Affordable Care Act in the East Room at the White House earlier this month.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama, standing with families who benefited from the health-care law provision that provides consumers with a refund if their insurance company doesn’t spend the majority of premium dollars on medical care, speaks about the Affordable Care Act in the East Room at the White House earlier this month. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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“On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. In public memory, what ensued was the smooth establishment of a popular program, but in fact Medicare faced a year of nearly crippling rearguard attacks.”

So wrote The New Yorker’s Atul Gawande in the magazine's April 5, 2010, edition. Gawande, a Boston surgeon and bestselling author, went on to explain that Medicare survived these assaults thanks to savvy politicking on the part of President Lyndon Johnson.

Gawande's piece concluded, "The voting is over, and the country has many other issues that clamor for attention. But, as L.B.J. would have recognized, the battle for health-care reform has only begun."

How right the good doctor was.

Senate and House Republicans have made about 70 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Thus far, none have been successful. And even that figure is not enough for some freshman Republicans. 

And what now? Why, another attempt to kill Obamacare, this time by threatening a government shutdown unless its de-funded. The Hill newspaper has the latest:

Senate Republicans, including two members of the leadership, are coalescing around a proposal to block any government funding resolution that includes money for the implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

But such a move is a nonstarter for President Obama and congressional Democrats. Republicans have tried this maneuver in Obama’s first term, only to back off later to the chagrin of Tea Party leaders.

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