It actually probably will be defunded if momentum continues in the way it has.
First of all, before anyone points the finger for its impending failure, we have to remember that it was passed using reconciliation - a procedural maneuver. It didn't pass due to popular support. In fact, they had a hard time getting it through the senate at all, losing the referendum in Massachusetts of all places, when Scott Brown was elected. This legislation has been doomed ever since, and the dominoes are falling into place to knock it down.
This defund Obamacare movement that is going on - I don't think this is going to play out the way it's being portrayed in the media where the Republicans take a lot of blame and Obama comes out looking like a hero. I think that the country is split enough on Obamacare and its impact that it will end up being a fight.
Anyone who is anywhere close to someone working in a small business has heard first hand the nervousness that these businesses have over the legislation. I'm sure this defund legislation is going to pass the House - I'm starting to wonder about the Senate.
Ted Cruz in the Senate says that we will use any procedural move possible to defund. That includes filibuster. After the success that Rand had with it, I have a hard time seeing whyCruz wouldn't go there. And if that's the direction that this goes in, America will be faced with a moment where for, say 12 hours, they're being confronted with a barrage of facts about what is going on with Obamacare, why it's not working right now, and why they should think twice about NOT defunding it.
I honestly don't think it's going to take too much of that kind of talk to get the American people stirred up about it and what this thing is doing to our economy, not to mention the concerns around what it will do to healthcare itself. It's not popular legislation by a long shot. Already Rassmussen has favorability for defunding it at 51%
. Whatever anyone things about Rassmussen, his polls aren't 10 points off. They're in the neighborhood.
The mainstream media is playing this off like it's a tempest in a teapot, but I think it's going to be more of a battle than most are imagining. And regardless of what happens in the next two weeks, Ted Cruz is going to come out a winner.
Even if Cruz fails to get the defund through now, he puts key Senate Democrats on the line for mid-terms in state where there is a lot of grass roots support to defund. Despite what any Democrat will tell you, that is hugely significant:
Consistent with previous analyses, we find that supporters of health care reform paid a significant price at the polls. We go beyond these analyses by identifying a mechanism for this apparent effect: constituents perceived incumbents who supported health care reform as more ideologically distant (in this case, more liberal), which in turn was associated with lower support for those incumbents. Our analyses show that this perceived ideological difference mediates most of the apparent impact of support for health care reform on both individual-level vote choice and aggregate-level vote share. We conclude by simulating counterfactuals that suggest health care reform may have cost Democrats their House majority.
The Republicans are 6 seats away from a Senate majority, and they are headed towards likely picking up 3 of them in Montana, West Virginia, and South Dakota. And according to Nate Silver, the other three are out there:
Republicans could then win three more seats from among red states like Louisiana and Arkansas, where vulnerable Democratic incumbents are on the ballot, or they could take aim at two purple states, Iowa and Michigan, where Democrats have retired. More opportunities could also come into play if the national environment becomes more favorable to Republicans (such as because of a further slide in Mr. Obama’s approval ratings). Meanwhile, while Kentucky and Georgia are possibly vulnerable, Republicans have few seats of their own to defend; unlike in 2012, they can focus almost entirely on playing offense. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...a-tossup/?_r=0
In that light, this move is politically brilliant. It turns the midterms into a referendum on Obamacare just as the thing is coming out of the gates. That'll be a slam dunk for Republicans. Anything can happen after that.
I think this is what will happen: There will be a fight in the Senate, and Cruz will narrowly lose, but the eventual compromise will be the bill getting funded until sometime shortly after 2014 elections. At that point, whether Obamacare continues will be determined by how the Senate turned out. If the Republicans have the votes, they'll defund and replace Obamacare with their own legislation. If they don't, Obamacare will survive at least until 2016 - but probably longer. It might have enough inertia at that point to be safe.
I think Obamacare is on the ropes. I would no longer be surprised to see Obama have to sign an act that defunds and replaces his signature legislation.