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Posted by:Alan Joel
With all the talk abuzz about an inevitable Hillary Clinton candidacy, I wager that her platform will include repealing ObamaCare. Hillary will declare late in the spring so that she can positively impact the midterm elections to benefit the Democrats.
What would Hillary gain from a repeal-ObamaCare platform?
First, such a position would effectively neuter the Republican position of anyone running in 2014 (and beyond). All the hand-wringing and fundraising, all the sob-stories and alarm bells about ObamaCare would be utterly weakened if Hillary was out there saying the exact same thing. Any Republican candidate on the same policy page as Hillary Clinton would be disastrous for them. The Republicans are hoping for strong gains in 2014 — possibly even taking the Senate — and are banking on a fledgling ObamaCare to do it. This objective could not be achieved with Hillary added to the mix.
Second, a repeal-ObamaCare position from Hillary would give vulnerable Democrats a free pass to sever close ties and loyalty to Obama. Obama is toxic right now; his popularity is in the mid 30’s and his signature legislation is overwhelmingly disliked across the country. With Hillary jumping in, Democrats would be able to rally around a more popular and likeable Democrat (what Democrat doesn’t like the Clintons?) and distance themselves from Obama and ObamaCare without hurting the Democrat brand. In fact, she enhances it right now.
Finally, Hillary herself was intimately involved in health care reform after Clinton’s election in 1992. The legislation she helped champion via the Taskforce For Health Care Reform was aptly dubbed “Hillarycare”. Twenty years later, in comparison to ObamaCare, it doesn’t look so bad, does it? Perhaps not anymore. Hillarycare had its own, but different, mandate: for all employers to provide healthcare for their workers. Is this the alternative solution and finally Hillary’s day in the sun? Or is it possible that Hillary would take healthcare reform even further than ObamaCare? Knowing the growing disdain for mandates perhaps Hillary would instead lobby for a single-payer system — which is a dream of many progressives.
Whatever the case, running on repealing ObamaCare is a win-win for Hillary. She gets to directly impact and help the midterm elections for the Democrats. Six years after her primary defeat against Obama, Hillary will emerge as the better, wiser, and more likeable Democrat (revenge is a dish best served cold?). And finally, Hillary will have the unprecedented opportunity to finish the healthcare reform she started two decades ago, since practically anything will be seen as better than ObamaCare now.