Opinion

Grand theft GOP

In this undated Street View image provided by Google is Inspiration Point at Yosemite National Park in California. (AP Photo/Google) In this undated Street View image provided by Google is Inspiration Point at Yosemite National Park in California. (AP Photo/Google)

I honestly didn’t think they’d do it. Talk about being your own worst enemy.

On the eve of the public exchanges going live, the GOP stood strong in their last stand against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And got flattened by what even Max Baucus dubbed a “train wreck. Or maybe it’s just a runaway train at this point.

This fight is over. It has been. All Republicans have been doing is providing free exposure. I don’t have hard numbers, but I bet more people are aware of Obamacare today because of Republicans rather than Democrats.

I’ll make this short today, because I’m still so stunned, looking at what only could be described as a public relations disaster. It’s a good thing the midterm elections aren’t this November.

First, most people still think PPACA won’t do a damn thing for them, to the tune of a whopping 41 percent. Another 40 percent thinks it’ll do more harm than good. People get that.

Second, most people still oppose this legislation – for now. Few people can realistically dispute the consistent poll numbers leaning against PPACA. People get that, too.

Nevertheless, an overwhelming 72 percent of voters oppose this shutdown – even if it’s some principled sit-in against Obamacare. As my oldest daughter would say, “No one’s down with this.” Or, in other words, people don’t get that.

Is this an example of pride before a fall? Simple Beltway insulation? Or some far more sinister Machiavellian conspiracy none of us are privy to yet?

I kinda hope it’s the latter, because anyone can see this boneheaded strategy smacks of cutting off their own noses to spite their angry faces.

And this finger pointing at the technical hiccups people are running into when trying to log in to the federally run exchanges is only fair up to a point. Ask any IT pro or even an average gamer and they’ll all tell you big online launch days are always riddled with glitches. And if you don’t believe me, talk to your newest (and/or youngest) co-worker, your kids or just Google “Diablo III,” “SimCity” or “Grand Theft Auto.” Server glitches are not even remotely uncommon. And the more we clamor about how riddled with problems the online rollout is, the more out-of-touch we appear to be.

As I’ve argued before, our best bet is to let this thing roll out and let it succeed or fail on its own merits (or because of its own flaws). It’s gonna happen anyway at this point.

Finally, it’s ironic – or maybe just tragic – that on the anniversary of both Yosemite National Park and NASA that they’re both forced to close their doors.

So maybe next year we can all celebrate Obamacare’s anniversary by visiting a local emergency room.

And with that, I leave you with this important, but apparently forgotten childhood lesson (with thanks to Jon Stewart).

About the Author
Denis Storey

Denis Storey

Denis Storey is editor for BenefitsPro.com and Benefits Selling magazine. He can be reached at dstorey@benefitspro.com.

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