The Seven-Year Itch

It has been seven years since the Democratic members of Congress, ridden herd by their majority leader, Nancy Pelosi, passed the Affordable Care Act, inaccurately nicknamed ObamaCare.  During those years, four things happened: President Obama and his party insisted that the law was proving itself a success, Obama Care developed an increasing number of serious administrative and financial difficulties, the Republican Party vowed to repeal it as their first priority when they returned to power (a vow the nominally Republican nominee for the presidency in 2016 renewed in his own right), and the new national healthcare system quietly and progressively rooted itself in American society, in the American political system, in the American medical system, and—so the polls indicate—the American psyche, without the Republicans paying heed to what was happening under their noses.

The GOP is absolutely justified in depicting ObamaCare as dysfunctional and predicting that sooner or later its structured contradictions will bring on its collapse.  But it has wholly ignored the extent to which a vast program of this kind entrenches itself in seven years, while being blind to the unpleasant fact that, once a democratic government has bestowed a set of benefits on the public, it cannot take those benefits away without courting political disaster.  National polls before the scheduled congressional vote on the American Health...

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