Obamacare vs Debt Ceiling, brought to us courtesy of the WWF

As the October 1 deadline approaches, a lot of attention is being focused on the rabid Republican opposition to Obamacare, to how they are willing to do just about anything including cut a baby in half with a saw on live TV, to stop the President from giving the majority of Americans access to better health care coverage.  I must confess it is perversely entertaining to witness the three ring circus hysteria unfold as a WWF-style Big Event pitting Obamacare against the Debt Ceiling in a no-holds-barred death match. Who wouldn’t want to tune in?

The only real problem with this particular match is:


1. Nobody wins.

2. The match is a fiction. Obamacare is the law, is going nowhere, and therefore has no reason to enter the ring.

The real story here, at least as I see it, is the focus of a recent column by the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne:

Yet at a moment when the Beltway wing of the GOP is on the verge of shaking the economy to its foundations in an effort to block Obamacare, there’s also a political lesson to be drawn from Ohio and from other states where Republican governors have embraced the expansion of Medicaid that is a central component of the Affordable Care Act.

Just last week, Rick Snyder, Michigan’s Republican governor, signed a Medicaid expansion bill with an explanation that President Barack Obama himself would endorse. “This is about the health of fellow Michiganders,” Snyder said. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett said he’d go along with a modified expansion. Another half-dozen Republican governors have also supported enlarging Medicaid, among them Chris Christie in New Jersey, Jan Brewer in Arizona and Susana Martinez in New Mexico.

These chief executives usually follow the party line in being critical of the health law in principle. But they have responsibilities that the radical ideologues in Washington don’t have — to their local hospitals, to their economies and, yes, to their constituents among the working poor who now lack insurance. They understand the difference between “Obamacare” as a right-wing bogeyman and the Affordable Care Act as a reality.

In other words, this could be one of several key issues to further pull the Republican Party apart unless and until the grown-ups return to claim their currently abdicated leadership roles. Right now the inmates are running the GOP asylum, but if members of the rightwing hardcore like Ohio Gov. Kasich and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer are now choosing to defy TP Headquarters, then it is truly a bumpy road ahead for the elephant tribe.

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