Since he was elected president, Barrack Obama has betrayed, reneged on, undermined, lied and sold out every Democratic party ideal, principle, promise and pledge he ever made and that Democratic voters expected to be fullfulled by him and wasn't.
The list is so long it's pointless to go into every one,and most of his failures were and still are the result of horrendous judgement and capitulations even when no capitulation was needed or neccessary, all the result of sheer political and policy cowardice. There is no other word to describe it. Nothing Obama has ever done or not done has ever been the result of principle or conviction or a willingness to stand up to or for anything and fight for it.
But when it comes to Obamacare it is impossible to overstate how complete a disaster, betrayal, sell out, abject failure and act of political and policy cowardice Obamacare actually is, a truly ineffective peice of "junk", as Howard Dean once called it despite the latest cheesy and dishonest fund raising emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out in Barbara Streisand's name or Nancy Pelosi thanking heaven for Obamacare and trying to raise money based on supporting the last two years of the Obama presidency, a strategy so dumb its painful.
Dishonest Democratic party fund raising emails signed by Nancy Pelosi, Biden, Harry Reid and Obama himself(how dishonest? Some use my zip code and claim if they don't get x amount of contributions from my zip code by midnight they may as well throw in the towel) literally beg and plead ( in many cases actually groveling) for contributions to get a Democratic majority for Obama for his last two years. What they hope everyone will forget, is that Obama had a Democratic majority in congress in the first two years of his presidency, the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 60 years and he wasted it with his unnecessary capitulations, none greater than Obamacare.
And since Obamacare is called his "signature legislative achievement", it's worth examing why the signature is a forgery.
First, Obamacare is the most underhanded and egregious sellout of a government policy to a special interest group ( the health insurance lobby) in American history. It was a bait and switch healthcare reform bill that would have made the sleaziest used car dealer in America cringe. Obamacare was healthcare reform designed to benefit, not the people who needed healthcare but the insurance companies. It was a bill that Howard Dean, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, presidential candidate, governor and physician said was junk before the senate vote, and publicly said right before the Supreme Court decision that he hoped Obamacare was overturned. There is nothing in Obamacare that has any value that wouldn't have been automatic with the public option. But there is a lot of good the public option would have done which the Democrats had the votes to pass, that that went down the drain with Obamacare.
Here are the facts related to Obamacare: of the 50 million Americans who were uninsured before Obamacare, 48.5 million Americans are still uninsured because they can't afford even the cheapest plans offered by Obamacare which comes with high premiums $6,000 deductibles, 40% co-pays and often require those who did enroll in policies to travel over 100 miles to get to a provider that's in the networks of the cheapest plans. If it sounds like healthcare reform designed by the insurance companies, its because it is (see the PBS Frontline documentary on Obama's sell out of healthcare reform to the insurance lobby "Obama's Deal"). Of the 32 million young healthy uninsured that Obamacare needs to succeed, about 3% bought polices,with the rest saying no thanks.And when those who did buy see how little their policies will cover, they may opt out too the second year.
This what the New York Times reported on Obamacare as recently as October 18 under the headline: "Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor."
The article interviewed and outlined a number of people for whom Obamacare is a colassal failure and its safe to say their stories are true for most who decided to enroll which is why 97.8% of the uninsured in America after looking at what was being offered chose not to.
Patricia Wanderlich needed brain scan monitoring, but the policy she bought under Obamacare, a bronze policy, the cheapest offered, came with a $6,000 deductible, meaning her medical expenses were not going to be fully covered until she spent $6,000 out of pocket. So she is skipping the brain scan. She cant afford it under the Affordable Care Act.
The deductibles on these plans run from $5-6,000 for individuals to $10,000 for families. And remember that under the wonders of the ACA, these are for plans on the lowest tier, healthcare reform that was supposed to insure those who previously couldn't afford insurance.
The Times article quoted Katherine Hempstead director of health insurance coverage research for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who said, " unfortunately the people who are attracted to the lower premiums ( in the cheaper plans) are the ones who are going to have the most trouble coming up with the cost sharing if they want to use their insurance".
Whats worse, the deductibles for those who have employer sponsored health plans, those who didn't need Obamacare are considerably lower than the lowest Obamacare deductibles. on average of $1,217 a year compared to an average of $5,081 for an individual on the cheapest Obamacare policy and $10,386 for a family. This is the healthcare reform that Nancy Pelosi, doing her best Marie Antoinette impersonation recently called "affordable, affordable, affordable".
The anecdotal stories are a nightmare. People with low end Obamacare policies who had to use an emergency room getting bills for $1,000 for the ER visit because their Obamacare insurance wouldn't cover it. Had they had no Obamacare insurance they would've gotten the same emergency room care for nothing.
Another who bought a bronze plan under Obamacare said, "$6,000 for a deductible? Do they think I have that under my mattress? Im just going to do what I can to stay healthy". So not only did Obamacare fail to cover almost 98% of those who couldn't afford health insurance, it provided little or nothing of value to those who decided to buy. Which is why the vast majority of Americans didn't. In other words to most people Obamacare is worthless, justifying Howard Dean's characterization of it to begin with as "junk".
One of the most egregious examples of why Obamacare is 95% of everything the insurance companies wanted and is doing very few people any good compared to what the public option would have accomplished, is the case of Dr. Rebecca Love in Moab, Utah. She has a host of self described health problems and her Obamacare insurance came with a $6,000 deductible. But after spending more than $6300 in out of pocket medical expenses she learned none of it was applicable to her deductible because the doctors she was seeing was not in her bronze plan network. In order to see those doctors she would have had to drive more than 100 miles each way.
All of this is for one reason: Obama didn't have the integrity, the backbone, the principles or conviction to stand up for what was right and what was promised by both he and the Democrats in the public option, which was also a vastly superior healthcare reform policy and a policy that the majority in congress wanted along with the majority of the American people.
Obama had the votes to pass it but instead did what he has done time and time again during his presidency -- reneged on promises, backed down, caved in and sold out in the face of even the slightest pressure, this time to the health insurance lobby who leaned on him to drop the public option because it was going to cost them money.
This lack of conviction or principle or a willingness to stand up for both has been the hallmark of the Obama presidency. And the betrayal of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in going along with Obama's sell out is what cost the Democrats their majority in the House and eroded their majority in the senate.
Whether its about his weak and anemic foreign policy that consistantly backfired, whether on Syria, being mistrusted by both the Israelis and Palestinians because of his public reversals of policy and so had no influence with either, being intimidated by Putin in Ukraine resulting in the annexation of Crimea and a wider war in the east, his failure to live up to his own red line over the use of chemical weapons against civilians,being caught unawares and napping with Isis, along with his domestic failures on any kind of meaningful gun safety legislation, the disastrous Unaffordable Care Act, his failure to close Gitmo and his expansion of NSA spying on Americans to name a few, any Democrat running anywhere will go a lot further by honestly repudiating Obama and his failures including Obamacare, than embracing Obama's presidency or trying to defend what can't be defended.
Obama's failures and how most Democratic voters feel about it predictably escapes every Democratic strategist and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee itself which is still sending out fund raising emails to Democratic voters to raise more money by offering free "Proud Obama Voter" bumper stickers for a president with a 43% approval rating and 65% who say the country is going in the wrong direction. Democratic political strategists at their best.
As for party loyalty, Democrats need to keep in mind that when health insurance policies started being cancelled, and Republicans began attacking Democrats and Obama over the promise " if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance", Obama preferred to put Democrats backs to the wall and take the hit to his credibility and approval rating rather than tell the truth: that he never made that promise about Obamacare, but said it about the public option in response to Republican attacks that the public option was a government take over of health care. That Obama would throw congressional Democrats under the bus rather than tell the truth, which would have invited comparisons between Obamacare and the public option he didnt want made, or how and why Obamacare became a substitute for the public option is all Democrats need to know about loyalty.
Standing up against and running against Republican policies is one thing. Supporting a failed, duplictious, less than honest and weak Obama presidency is another. And with the election only a few weeks away and polls showing Democratic candidate leads shrinking in many close elections, the only question for Democrats now is, is it too late?
POST ELECTION ADDENDUM:
I told you so.