A few months ago, the Republican Party was being given up for dead.
Then came Obamacare and the health law breathed new life back into the party.
Lost in much of the media circus about the abject failure of the technical part of the system to get people signed up (show us a Version 1.0 of anything that every worked), or in the loopholes in the law that actually allowed/required insurance companies to drop people from what have been described as "junk" health insurance programs (but which nevertheless did provide some protection), is that fact that on opening day 2.5 million Americans tried to sign up.
Clearly, there was a need, one that overwhelmed a clunky, poorly designed and inadequately tested piece of software.
It appears that politicians, if not the media and the public, noticed those numbers and understood what they meant.
Leading Republicans today aren't calling for the abolition of Obamacare, but rather significant reform of the law, which, like the software to sign up, needs some serious fixes. This is a brilliant redirection of political effort. It recognizes that the basic principal behind Obamacare is definitely needed, but allows them to point out that the Democratic version isn't working and they have all kinds of ideas to fix the problem. Bad software has given them the political initiative heading into next year's off-year elections.
Yes, the Tea Party led disaster that was the government shutdown and sequestration (the automatic cuts that are still in place) aren't going to be completely forgotten, but the Affordable Care Act is turning out to be Obama's version of Bush's Katrina, and a lot of the previous voter animosity toward the GOP is going to get blown away in the Obamacare storm.
And, as Obama got elected (and won a Nobel Peace Prize) essentially on the platform of "he's not Bush," you can bet the next president of the United States will run on the platform of "he (or she) isn't Obama."
Thanks to Obamacare, the 2014 and 2016 elections just got a lot more interesting.
-- Kelly Everitt