There was a certain amount of ignorance in the Republican Party for assuming President Obama would compromise on his baby the Affordable Care Act; the signature piece of legislation and what will be the legacy of his administration once he leaves office. Ronald Reagan didn’t abandon his tax cuts, and Lyndon Johnson wasn’t going to give up the great society so for a small reckless group of tea party Republicans to think President Obama would suspend the Affordable Care Act for a year in order to pass a spending bill was a terrible strategy that now leaves the country in a government shutdown.
In 2003, President Bush and a Republican Congress passed Medicare Part D considered a fiscally reckless piece of legislation. Bush already projecting large deficits and Medicare by this time was a broken system as baby boomers were set to retire. The estimated cost to the drug benefit was $400 billion over 10 years but once signed into law the White House amended the figure to well over $500 billion without any accounting breakdown. To make matters worse President Bush and a Republican Congress didn’t even pay for the program. Democrats could have tried to repel and replace the drug benefit but elected to help make Medicare part D a better program. This didn’t happen overnight, and partisan politics delayed attempts for improving the law but over time, both sides came together, and today it’s unthinkable to believe the country would be without the Medicare drug benefit.
This doesn’t mean the Affordable Care Act will be an overnight success it will take years to see significant benefits. However, even with the early glitches from people trying to sign-up, if you had to have a choice in problems being flooded with people trying to register is better than no one trying to register for healthcare. Both Medicare and Medicaid had less than smooth launches, and the Affordable Care Act is no different, and it’s entirely too early to call it a failure without giving it a change to succeed.