House Speaker John A. Boehner is not done with the Affordable Care Act; there’s some health stealth in mind to undermine Obamacare — we’re talking smart and pesky tactics rather than one big, bunker-busting bomb here.
“Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue,” Mr. Boehner declared in a statement Sunday. “We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law’s massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.”
An initial volley in this guerrilla warfare that combines calm persistence and keen-eyed pounces? Mr. Boehner is enthusiastic about a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday that will examine the ongoing startup problems with Obamacare, titled “Implementation Failures: Didn’t Know or Didn’t Disclose?”
Though the Department of Health and Human Services pledged Sunday that fixes to online sign-up glitches were forthcoming, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has still declined to appear at the upcoming hearing to answer questions and clear the air.
“Either the administration was not ready for launch, or it was not up to the job. The president and top officials were quick to boast the number of visitors to HealthCare.gov, but they have since gone silent, refusing to disclose even basic enrollment figures,” says Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican and the committee chairman.
“Ducking an investigation with spin is one thing. Responding with a wall of silence to the invitation of a duly elected congressional body probing the use of more than half a billion taxpayer dollars is another. This Obama crowd is something else,” notes a Wall Street Journal editorial.
WHERE IT STANDS
“Although federal and state health insurance exchanges opened on Oct. 1, 71 percent of Americans who lack health insurance — the primary target group for the exchanges — say they are ‘not too familiar’ or ‘not familiar at all’ with them, little changed from last month,” reports Jeffrey Jones, a Gallup analyst. “At the same time, 28 percent of uninsured Americans say they are very or somewhat familiar with the exchanges, up slightly from 25 percent last month.”
Mr. Jones also notes that 56 percent of the respondents in the survey released Friday say they plan to get insurance, while 34 percent say they are more likely to pay the fine for not doing so.
GUIDED BY THE IRON LADY
“Liberalism reigns in the White House, but America remains a conservative nation at heart,” write Nile Gardiner and Stephen Thompson, authors of “Margaret Thatcher on Leadership: Lessons for American Conservatives Today,” just published by Regnery Books.
“Margaret Thatcher succeeded because she understood the concerns of the conservative grassroots on core issues such as the economy, government spending and taxes. She won over millions more to the conservative cause not by watering down her message or shifting her position, but by presenting an attractive vision of economic freedom,” the authors note.
On shelves just 10 weeks before 2014 dawns, the publisher calls the book a “practical and inspirational” guide.
“She made the conservative party more open and inclusive. Lady Thatcher understood that conservative principles are for everybody, not tied to special interest groups or trends,” Regnery says. “Conservative ideas must win people over first, before conservatives can win their votes later.”