Prepare for them to search high and low for people disappointed with Obamacare — then pretend to share their pain

(Credit: Jeff Malet,


In the least shocking news you’ll hear all year, Republicans lack both the intent and ability to adopt a less combative approach to healthcare reform. They like how the last three months of 2013 unfolded politically (a three week government shutdown notwithstanding!) and will do whatever they can to make 2014 look a lot like that. They’ll probably even fund the government and increase the debt limit without inviting crises to keep the media focused on Obamacare.

This week they will begin exploiting for political gain the misfortunes of people who seek medical care under the impression that they’re covered only to find out, for some reason, that they’re not. These might be beneficiaries who, due to technical woes and clerical backlogs, are having trouble accessing their benefits, or people who thought they had enrolled but never actually did.

When someone finds he’s eligible for fewer subsidies than he believed, conservatives will pretend to share his outrage; when a family earns more money than expected and must rebate subsidy dollars to the IRS (a clawback provision Republicans supported!) the GOP will be there.