Watching the Republican Party’s eleventh-hour attempts to derail the full implementation of Obamacare makes me more certain than ever that they know full well that the Affordable Care Act is not in fact the “train wreck” they have tried to convince everyone it is — because if it really were, Republicans would be doing one of two things: either trying to fix what they think is wrong with the law so they can get credit for preventing the train wreck while still helping their constituents, or just letting the ACA go into full effect, letting the train wreck happen, then reaping the political bonanza as Democrats are forced to own the train wreck and are punished for it at the polls.
But that’s clearly not what they’re doing. No, instead they’re desperately trying to stop or sabotage the ACA any way they can think of. Why? Because they know that if Obamacare is allowed to work as it is designed to, it will help a lot of people, people will like it, and Democrats will get all the credit. But by choosing to fight Obamacare by misleading people about it and trying to thwart its implementation any way they can, Republicans have really backed themselves against a wall. The Supreme Court didn’t strike it down, and President Obama was re-elected, so the only option they have left now is to scare people about the ACA and throw as many wrenches into it as they can. Because again, if they allow the ACA to work as it was designed to, their constituents will experience for themselves how it helps them, and Republicans are going to have a lot of explaining to do about all the scary things they said would happen and didn’t, and about why they tried so hard (and wasted so many millions of dollars on pointless repeal votes) to get rid of something that actually helps most Americans.
So there’s an Obamacare train wreck coming all right, but it’s not the one the Republicans want us to think it is. Rather, it’s a political and electoral train wreck coming right at the GOP and they know it. Insanely ridiculous things like voting 41 times for a repeal bill that has no chance of going anywhere, or threatening to shut down the government to try to get a defunding measure that won’t actually accomplish its goal — these are not the actions of a party confident of its positions. These are the actions of a party that knows they have backed themselves into a corner and that it is now just a matter of time until their constituents realize how cynically they’ve misled them and fought against their best interests.