Josh Marshall Brags: The Right Wing Thinks Obamacare's in Trouble, But the 'Reality-Based' Know Better

Movement conservatives are on an anti-Obamacare bender and feeling pretty good, but eventually they may pay for it with a painful political hangover.
That, essentially, is what Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall wrote on Friday in an article titled "How the GOP Bet on Failure And Lost." Marshall acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act probably will help Republicans in this year's midterms, but that in the long run, they'll suffer at the polls unless they face the supposed fact that the law is a success.

From Marshall's post [emphasis ours]:

On Obamacare, the Republican party has bet big on failure for four years. Now the results are in. And they lost. Big time.

....I would say it is likely that the GOP will still derive benefits this November from the core of voters who are extremely upset about Obamacare...But on the core of the policy, which I think there is good reason to believe will align with political outcomes in the future, the results are in...

The success metrics are plentiful, manifold and really impossible not to see unless you're refusing to see them. We now know that despite the calamitous roll out of the website in October and November, exchange sign ups significantly exceeded the CBO's projections...

The more telling numbers come from the demographic details of the sign ups...

Most important is the latest data on the percentage of young people who signed up. That number now stands at 28% - a very good number...

To get a good sense of what the 28% number means...this is virtually identical to the number achieved by this point in Massachusetts with Romneycare. That number would have been a key one for insurance carriers who had to make their own predictions about the demographic mix to set rates. So not only does it now seem extremely unlikely that there will be the risk pool 'death spiral' that Republicans were hoping for. It also seems much less likely that we'll see the year 2 "rate shock" they've also been pining after.

The dreaded "yeah, but how many have paid yet?" - well, we have those numbers too - about 85%...

These are the internal numbers that might have spelled big trouble if they came out wrong. But they ended up spelling a very different story.

As I noted recently, GOP policy analysts are pretty clear now that Obamacare isn't collapsing, hopes of the politicals notwithstanding. And strategists have started to hint that flat opposition - repeal with no alternative that provides something like the same range of benefits - may no longer be viable from a political standpoint.

Marshall created a conservative straw man: "Of course, in the Obamacare gotterdammerung bubble, Obamacare is on its last legs and President Obama will soon resign and ask the country for mercy as he's hustled off by federal marshals to stand trial for Obamacare and socialism. Back on planet earth though reality-based opponents see the writing on the wall....They bet on failure. And they lost the bet."

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters