Obama declares victory: ObamaCare is here to stay

When he’s right, he’s right. Alternate headline: “I gotcha by the balls now, America.”

Honestly, at this point, I’d prefer that our candidates simply admit defeat than feed me more lies about how we’re going to repeal and replace ObamaCare once the GOP is back in the White House. This Jeb Bush statement is typical of the crap being pushed by Republican 2016 candidates today. I’ve gotten fatalistic about failure; it’s failure theater that bothers me more than anything else now.

“I am disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare

“As President of the United States, I would make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities. I will work with Congress to repeal and replace this flawed law with conservative reforms that empower consumers with more choices and control over their health care decisions.

“Here is what I believe:  We need to put patients in charge of their own decisions and health care reform should actually lower costs.  Entrepreneurs should be freed to lower costs and improve access to care – just like American ingenuity does in other sectors of the economy.

When? When would he work to do that? Reforms to the law are a given as it creaks and wheezes in the years ahead, but Bush is promising much more than that. Even if he’s elected president, there’s no chance the GOP will have a filibuster-proof majority in 2017. The 2016 Senate map is so favorable to Democrats that it’ll be a real achievement if Republicans simply manage to hang onto their majority. Realistically there’s no chance Bush will be positioned to act in 2019 either. The president’s party typically underperforms in midterms, so 2018 could be tougher than expected for a Bush-led GOP. Even if the party cleaned up in 2018 and ended up with a filibuster-proof Senate majority the following year, you know what Republicans would say: Repealing ObamaCare is too risky with another presidential election right around the corner. If they yank subsidies from people who have come to depend on them, they’ll be routed out of office. So, at the very earliest, you’re looking at 2021 as a target date for getting rid of O-Care — and even to get to that point, you’d need Republicans to win the White House not once but twice and to improve considerably on their current Senate majority. You think that’s happening? You think this party, which has mastered the art of failure theater, is going to go to the mat on O-Care after the law’s already been in effect for eight full years and the entire health-care industry has been reorganized around it? We can’t be suckered that easily. I think. I hope.

Chris Cillizza’s right too that Hillary’s game plan on health care on 2016 is now set:

Clinton will now be able to make the very strong case that the law has been fought judicially, legislatively and through campaigns and, in each instance, it has survived those challenges.  “This is old news,” you can hear Clinton saying. “The Affordable Care Act is the the law of the land. I know some Republicans might not like that but the fight is over.”

That’s a compelling argument especially to voters not closely affiliated with either party who are likely to be swayed by the sheer amount of validation Clinton can point to in regards the law.

As Obama fades in relevance, so too will his status as a partisan lightning rod. And as he becomes less of lightning rod, so will the law. Moderate Republicans like Jeb who are terrified of how their base will react if they propose keeping and improving any part of O’s signature legislation will find that terror subsiding as “ObamaCare” increasingly becomes known as just plain ol’ American health care. As more swing voters make financial plans based on their expectations of O-Care’s rules for coverage, GOP pols will be less likely to disturb any of it, including and especially subsidies. All of this was perfectly predictable, so much so that Ted Cruz made this very point in trying to justify the 2013 shutdown. Stop it before it starts, Cruz warned, or else you’ll never have the political will to stop it again. And he was right. We won’t. The only real chance we had to stop it was SCOTUS’s 2012 decision. Once Roberts voted with the liberals on that, the die was cast. Today’s ruling by comparison is a fart in the wind.

So here’s the big victory speech. Enjoy it, as it’s the only one this foreign-policy mastermind will ever give.