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Obamacare turns another corner

By Jay MacDonald ·
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

OK, so maybe it wasn't exactly a group hug. But make no mistake: The grudging acceptance of President Barack Obama's signature health care reform by the nation's governors during last weekend's get-together with POTUS marked the fall of another political obstacle to Obamacare.

While not all of the governors "of the great state of ..." who attended Sunday night's chow-down at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. were willing to make nice, the tone of the gathering was decidedly conciliatory.

"Before the (2012) election, it felt like a cockfight," Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, told The Associated Press following a private lunch session Saturday. "Down there, we were talking about ways we could cooperate."

Their eyes toward the elections

The group tweet from the guvs might read something like this: "Ocare? Whatever helps my peeps helps me get elected. Dump it? Too $$. Fix it? We'll see. Not our fight. Can no longer afford the snark."

The sudden change of heart may have more to do with the rather delicate tightrope walk that some Republican governors face going into the fall midterm elections than with anything remotely resembling an "a-ha!" moment. There are 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs in November, most of them currently held by the GOP.

Several Republican governors, including Rick Snyder of Michigan and Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, have opted to expand Medicaid under the attractive terms laid out by Obamacare, even as their party continues to treat the nearly four-year-old law as Public Enemy No. 1.

Watching the numbers

Then there have been those inconvenient statistics recently that suggest Obamacare may be working. Despite a rough online debut, nearly 3.3 million have signed up for health insurance, including 1 million in January alone. It's got to grate a little that signups have been as strong or stronger than predicted in red states, including Florida, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Sure, there's still plenty of quibbling. Even New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a first-term Democrat who expanded Medicaid to cover 50,000 uninsured residents, told the AP, "Overall, I'm very disappointed with the early implementation and rollout," while conceding, "I think we're making progress."

But, in that same report, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a staunch opponent of Obamacare, may have best captured the new, unofficial consensus among state leaders toward health reform.

"I don't think that it's so deeply entrenched that it can't be repealed, but I do think, as we argue for repeal, we have to show folks what you replace it with," he says.

Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus.

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brandon b
February 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

@ Quirky I have never once herd a Dem say the things a Repubs say all the time about immigrants or blacks or women? your argument is fruitless. It is ok to not like BO but you have nothing that hold water. PS Republicans do control congress.... Hints the reason they have done nothing for at least four years.

Rose Russo
February 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

It definitely is a racial thing on the President. I am shocked at how prejuidiced this country still is. It has not accepted blacks in high places yet even when they are qualified. Shame on us!!!!

February 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

think about it. the real truth is the dems (not the rebubs) are the ones with the hatred agenda but ultimately blame the repubs for it. it is amazing to me that more folks don't realize it. but I don't know anyone who can keep that many lies straight. the dems do it and blame the repubs, and the repubs don't know how to defnd themselves because most of of the people who voted for this idiot believe the lies. WAKE UP! Yes, he did get elected twice but if he hadn't lied about everything and hidden the truth about Benghazi the 2nd time wouldn't have happened. the dems wouldn't know the truth if it bit them in the A__! all those who voted for Obama because he is cute or black or green or whatever are now getting what they asked for. an idiot in office. I doubt they will learn anything from this as they like to be lied to and believe anything on the all bama news channels as though it was the gospel truth.
There is a chance to bring us back from the edge of hell, but only if we can give the repubs control of congress and send the idiot to the golf course for the next two years. I used to be a dem until the idiot. I am also not for the repubs but with our political system, there is no way to get anyone but a dem or repub elected. anyone else trying for the office is only stealing votes from one party or the other but it usually seems to help the dems.

Brandon b
February 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm

@Bob Cumbers Really? he was voted in twice. and he got the popular vote both times so I disagree that more than half the county despises Obama. GOP will not win a national election until they actually have a plan that is better. All the GOP has is Hatred to certain groups of people, and wanting to control Vaginas. Keep up the good work keeping them out of office.

February 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Hey ray! A black man IS in office....get a grip.

February 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

LMAO you don't have a clue how many people signed up for Obamacare because the administration won't tell you (that's a sure sign the numbers are bad). Signing up for Obamacare requires making payments and the administration refuses to say how many people have made to the payment stage of signing up. Gee I wonder why?

There's also 5M++ people who lost their insurance due to Obamacare vs. the mythical 3.3M new subs. How many of the supposed new subs are people who got kicked out of the plans they really wanted and had no choice but Obamacare? Don't even get me started about the mix of subs who actually did sign. Bet your bottom dollar the reason the administration ain't giving the stats on the mix is because it's not good news for Obamacare. Add in the latest lie about 6M "New" Medicaid subs most of which were really existing subs renewing and you can't believe a word the administration tells you about Obamacare's progress to date. In fact the more lies they tell and stats they hide the more you can be sure the program is failing. Republicans are sitting back and watching Obamacare die of natural causes.

Bob Cumbers
February 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm

@ray -- You wish it was as simple as a Black thing. That would keep the narrative simple and easily explainable to simple minds.

Obama is despised by more than half the country because his policies haven't helped the common man one bit. The economy continues to sputter along, the job market continues to be weak and his propensity for running up debt in order to pay for social programs which are expanding exponentially under his "leadership" really smothers those who produce in this country.

Then there's the unholy alliance between Obama's administration and the Fed. While I'm sure no one would admit it, the Fed's QE-infinity program is merely enabling this administration to continue it's irresponsible fiscal policy, thus putting off the day of reckoning. When that day comes, we may be too far down to ever make it back. If this happens, there will be pain like you've never seen.

Only then, will folks like you realize that Obama is the worst President ever. History will ultimately tell the story of Obama's legacy. I do not believe history will be kind to him.

Freddy k
February 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Obamacare turned a corner? Really, what corner is that? Every time Obamacare turns a corner it runs straight into a brick wall. If you think the Republican Governors are now on Obamas side in this mess, think again. Does someone write these headlines to get people to read the articles? Don't you know people do not read more that a few sentences these days. You could have just said Obamacare is the greatest thing since sliced bread and thats all most people would read.

ramos rude
February 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm

spoken like a true handout recipient. There are jobs if you actually want to work, but yes, something for nothing is better!!

ray bell
February 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

the Republicans should move on to more important things like finding jobs , and stop Hating POB so much its a Black thing that the good old boys" Just can not get with it
They think white house means white man should be there.