Inside the Beltway: Even titillating tactics fail to peddle Obamacare

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And the Dirty Dozen? They are: Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Al Franken of Minnesota, Kay R. Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Mark L. Pryor of Arkansas, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Udall of Colorado, Tom Udall of New Mexico and Mark R. Warner of Virginia.

FROM THE ‘HEH’ DESK

What with recent White House news that some 50,000 people have signed up for Obamacare, the National Republican Congressional Committee points out that there are more 100-year-olds in the U.S. — 53,364 based on Census figures — than health care enrollees. But there is a tie, the Republicans admit.

The Guinness Book of World Records receives an average 50,000 requests a year from those seeking recognition for the biggest, the tallest and other designations.

THE MENTAL STATE

There’s another reason to be uneasy about Obamacare, predicts Dr. Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist who is now an educational consultant and a former consulting professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center.

“On Jan. 1, tens of millions of people will be eligible for mental health and substance abuse services, which are no longer an option and must be included in a health insurance policy,” he says.

“Obamacare isn’t adding more physicians, but instead is bringing millions more patients to the already shortage of qualified mental health specialists. So while it’s a nice thought that everyone has access to care, the reality is that the system won’t be able to accommodate the influx of eligible new patients,” Dr. Masand notes.

DON’T DUST OFF THE CROWN YET

There is considerable glee among Democrats who believe they will rule politics forever and ever because there’s no unity or mission in the Republican Party anymore. But wait. It may be time for the Democrats to face the same issue.

“Liberal leaders want Hillary Clinton to face a primary challenge in 2016 if she decides to run for president. The goal of such a challenge wouldn’t necessarily be to defeat Clinton. It would be to prevent her from moving to the middle during the Democratic primary,” says Alexander Bolton, a Senate reporter for The Hill.

Yes, well. That dreaded, pesky middle.

“I do think the country would be well served if we had somebody who would force a real debate about the policies of the Democratic Party and force the party to debate positions and avoid a coronation,” Roger Hickey, co-director of the aggressive progressive group Campaign for America’s Future, tells Mr. Bolton.

FAT CHANCE

The public is not keen on the proverbial nanny state, as envisioned by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other public officials. While 63 percent of Americans say that obesity has an impact on society, 54 percent also say that the government should not play a role in reducing obesity. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans agree. So says a new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday.

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