Obamacare Road Show: Lipstick on a Pig

Obamacare cartoon

It is common for a U.S. President to take the show on the road when it comes to sweeping changes in policy. I remember when President George W. Bush’s Administration rolled out Medicare Part D. Every Department and Agency was involved with the President’s road show, messaging, and sales efforts.

As the clock ticks towards Obamacare implementation, the White House is doing everything it can to raise visibility and get positive feedback. In reality these attempts look more and more like putting lipstick on a pig.

To put “lipstick on a pig” is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.

The facts of the matter are becoming clearer in spite of the President’s smoke and mirrors campaign. It appears that all is not well.

The Democrat-Leaning “Obamacare” Coalition is beginning to crumble.

Organized Labor, who has backed the President without hesitation on just about all of his policy decisions, sent a scathing letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The letter was co-signed by James Hoffa (Teamsters, 1.4 million members), Joseph Hansen of the Food & Commercial Workers (1.3 million members), and D. Taylor of Unite Here (200,000 members from hotel and culinary industry). They argue that Obama’s crowning achievement, the Affordable Care Act, “will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek.”

Anyone who knows unions knows that the unions fear workplace flexibility and want to preserve hourly and prevailing wages on the federal, state and local levels wherever they can. Business, for the most part, wholeheartedly supports flexibility for working families.

Read Karl Rove’s take in the Wall Street Journal here.

Republicans Act, Smell Blood in the Water.

Just this week, U. S. House Republicans in Congress voted for the 38th or 39th time to try to repeal the measure due to the employer mandate. Earlier this month, Republicans in the U.S. Senate suggested that Obamacare implementation be permanently delayed.

There’s no doubt that the Obama Administration’s repeal of the employer mandate for large employers struck a chord with Republicans, who are largely backed by small businessmen and women. Speaker John Boehner defended America’s small businesses:

“If you’re a software company making billions in profits, you’re exempt from Obamacare next year,” he said Friday. “But if you’re a 28-year-old struggling to pay-off your student loans, you’re not. … Is it fair for the president to give American businesses an exemption from his health law’s mandates without giving the same break to the rest of America? Hell no.”

Read more here.

The U.S. House acted on Wednesday to approve two separate bills that amend portions of the Affordable Care Act. The vote to delay the employer mandate passed 264-161 with 35 Democrats joining Republicans to support the delay. Twenty-two Democrats sided with Republicans on a second vote. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats who are led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are not expected to take up either of these bills, knowing that the White House would veto them both.

National Small Business Association Blasts Obamacare Implementation.

Small business coalitions, led by National Federation of Independent Business President Dan Danner aren’t shy about expressing their opinion on behalf of America’s small businesses. They have created “The Healthcare Playbook” A Small Business Guide to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

So, now you have an unraveling coalition for the President’s crowning achievement at a time of economic uncertainty coupled by riots, racial divisions, and a bankruptcy in one of America’s largest cities.

Not bad for one week in the doldrums of summer, Mr. President.

I used to believe President Obama could sell ice to Eskimos. But now, it’s becoming clearer and clearer to pundits and observers that putting lipstick on the Obamacare pig in the summer heat is making Americans of all political persuasions sweaty and uncomfortable.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons