Dick Morris: WH Has Engineered 'De Facto Repeal' of Obamacare

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 03:25 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Although the administration reported Tuesday that 4.2 million people have enrolled in Obamacare, the individual mandate has effectively been repealed, says political analyst Dick Morris.

"The goal of the shutdown has happened because the Obama administration has promulgated regulations saying that if you don't have health insurance, you don't have to pay the fine.

"If you say that you felt that it would be unaffordable, you found the site too difficult to navigate, or maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning — there are a whole series of excuses, and you don't need to prove them —  you just need to assert them.

"So, with these waivers, you effectively have no individual mandate to buy it," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Wednesday.

Morris also said Obama has "tripped over himself" on the promise that people would not lose their health insurance if they liked their coverage.

"A year ago, he said you don't have to have your policy canceled. I'll let you extend it for a year, but only if your state insurance commissioner agrees. They went around and got all the Democratic state insurance commissioners to say, 'Oh, heavens, no. We will not permit these cancellations to be rescinded. It's essential that Obamacare proceed.' So, all the blue states refused to let the people rescind the cancellations," he explained.

"Now Obama is afraid the blue-state senators are going to be defeated, so he's extending the cancellation waiver for two more years. But it's still subject to the insurance commissioners. So, in Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia, and a host of other blue states where Obama's Democratic senators are on the line, it looks like the extension that he's giving will not take effect."

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Asked what fix he would recommend to the president, Morris, a former adviser to Bill Clinton, replied, "Oh, God, too many fixes a while ago. But the point here is just incredible. It means that effectively he has repealed Obamacare."

"You don't have to buy insurance because there are all these escapes, and your boss doesn't have to buy insurance if he is a small, medium, or large business. This is to say any employer. And essentially now, all of it is postponed or overridden. So, it's really a de facto repeal."

Morris says Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in a special House election in Florida on Tuesday was a referendum on Obamacare and is a pattern that will be repeated in the midterm elections.

"It has a lot to do with November. There are seven Democratic senators who are either retired or seeking re-election in states that Romney carried, so if we win all seven of those, the Republicans control the Senate. Those states Romney carried, all but one of them are states McCain carried, too.

"Now you have an election in a district where Obama carried it both in '08 and in '12 and a Republican gets elected to Congress. A very, very interesting and significant bellwether as to how those other seven states are likely to go," he said.

"In addition to those seven, you have five or six others that went for Obama both times but in which there are very significant chances of taking away Democratic seats. Two with open seats — Michigan and Iowa — and some with endangered incumbents — Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Oregon."

Morris pointed out that most of those who turn out in off-year elections are 55 and older, which also could work to the GOP's advantage "particularly now that their Medicare and the Obamacare, the health insurance, these vital things are on the line."

"Very rarely does American politics touch an issue that really affects people directly. The Vietnam draft was a good example, a huge tax increase is another example. The healthcare situation, he's put everybody in play," he added.

As for what, if anything, Democrats can do to reverse their fortunes, Morris said, "What they're trying to do is distraction. Obama talks about everything else these days but healthcare. HHS does his healthcare stuff. He's off on minimum-wage jobs for long-term unemployed, lowering the cost of colleges, increasing student loans, he's doing everything he can but healthcare. It's the politics of distraction.

"But the problem is that the reality on the ground, if your canceled health insurance policies, which are now going to continue to be canceled because of the thing we talked about earlier, because of the blue states being forced to pay high premiums, not getting your regular doctor, all of that stuff is going to increase, and the reality on the ground will obscure the capacity of the president to dominate the airwaves.

"Obama has done a very effective job in the last month and a half of daily executive orders, and his poll numbers are the lowest they've ever been."

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