WSJ's Noonan: GOP Should Seek to Delay Obamacare 'Disaster'

Friday, 11 Oct 2013 03:15 PM

By Dan Weil

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Congressional Republicans should shift their focus from defunding Obamacare to delaying it, says Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan.

It's good that congressional Republicans are now negotiating with the White House on the budget and debt ceiling, Noonan wrote Friday. "But they would make a mistake in dropping Obamacare as an issue."

"A few weeks ago they mistakenly demanded defunding — a move to please their base. They will be tempted to abandon even the word Obamacare now."

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

Instead, Republican lawmakers should concentrate on delaying Obamacare because "it has become obvious to the American people that parts of Obamacare (like the ability to enroll!) are unworkable," she said.

She insisted that Republicans press harder than ever to delay it or "to kick it back" so the administration can at least "create functioning websites, and improve what can be improved."

Noonan noted that President Barack Obama has continued to insist that he won't approve any delay. But she said that "was before the system so famously flopped when people tried to enroll."

A delay, she added, would give Obama a chance to show he's responding to what actually is happening with the healthcare rollout.

"It would allow him to say the program itself is good but the technological infrastructure, frankly, has not yet succeeded. This would allow him to look like one thing no one thinks he is, which is modest," she wrote.

Noonan also attacked the Democratic position that Republicans should move on because Obamacare is a law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court. She argues that the Affordable Care Act "doesn't exist anymore," not as it was "passed and adjudicated" anyway.

"Since then it has changed, and something new taken its place. Hundreds of waivers and exceptions have been granted," she continued.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

"The program debuted, and the debut was a disaster. Americans who want to be part of it haven't been able to join," she added.

"It isn't the poor piece of legislation it was, it's a new and different poor piece of legislation. All of this is highly unusual. A continuation of unusual would therefore not be out of order. Delay the program. It's a mess and an oppression. Improve it," Noonan said.

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