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Are Republicans starting to wave the white flag on Obamacare?

Reality could be setting in.
Reality could be setting in.
Alfonso De Tomas/

President Barack Obama two weeks ago announced that 8 million Americans had enrolled in Obamacare, a turnaround from the disastrous start last October. During his announcement he also claimed that the Republican Party is "going through the stages of grief, anger, denial, and all of that stuff and we're not at acceptance yet."

Perhaps they are now moving towards acceptance. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the fourth highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives said last Thursday that they "need to look at reforming the exchanges" under Obamacare and made no mention of repeal. The next day, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told students at Harvard's Institute of Politics that "it's going to be difficult to turn the clock back" on Obamacare because "people get assumed and accustomed to receiving things." Paul then floated the possibility of making Obamacare voluntary by eliminating the individual mandate.

The truth is that simply repealing Obamacare or waiting for it to fail as some Republicans assumed would happen was always a fantasy. Uncle Sam flushes almost $100 billion down the toilet per year thanks to duplicate programs and nothing is ever done about it. Amtrak and The Postal Service also lose billions each year yet there is little serious talk about reforming them. There is also the matter of millions of Americans losing their subsidies and coverage as a result of an outright repeal.

Republicans also have had four years to rally around a viable replacement bill if Obamacare ever were repealed. It is true that there are some promising bills out there, but the Republican Party for the most part simply ignores them. You cannot beat something with nothing.

Obamacare still remains unpopular and Republicans will probably benefit in November's elections partially as a result. But barring victories in the 2016 elections including the Presidency along with a light switch finally coming on for GOP leaders, there will be no choice but to finally accept Obamacare no matter how bad it turns out.