At least Medicare Part D works. “As the political back and forth over Obamacare intensified this summer, it largely went overlooked that the Medicare prescription drug benefit continues to outperform expectations. In July, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the average premium for the drug benefit in 2014 would be just $31. That’s remarkable given that the average premium had held steady at $30 in the three previous years. HHS also announced that, because of very moderate spending growth in the program, the standard deductible would fall from $325 in 2013 to $310 in 2014.”
At least Democrats (albeit, late in the game) admit it. “Obama’s reversals made it difficult for anyone — allies and adversaries alike — to know what he might do next. Most of the time, that’s a defect in a foreign policy, because it shakes allies’ confidence and makes it easier for adversaries to misjudge our intentions.”
At least Speaker of the House John Boehner put the onus squarely on the GOP shutdown squad in the Senate. Time to show what they’ve got. “We’ll deliver a big victory in the House tomorrow. Then this fight will move over to the Senate – where it belongs. I expect my Senate colleagues to be up for the battle.”
At least some people get to keep their coverage. There are some, right? “For weeks, headlines have cataloged the upheaval at private employers: UPS dropping coverage for employed spouses, IBM reworking retiree benefits. Yesterday came the biggest change: Walgreen Co. (WAG), the largest U.S. drugstore chain, told 160,000 workers they must buy insurance through a private exchange rather than having the company arrange their coverage.”
At least he won on appeal, although not before he spent a fortune and his career was ruined. “A Texas appeals court has overturned former Rep. Tom DeLay’s conviction on money laundering charges, releasing an opinion Thursday morning saying that prosecutors never proved the Texas Republican and one-time powerful majority leader of the House benefited from criminal activity.”
At least fewer and fewer people buy their nonsense. “The choice is not, and never has been, between those willing to defund ObamaCare and those willing to fund it. That supposed choice is in fact an illusion. To defund the ACA would require the House and Senate to pass new legislation, which Barack Obama would have to sign. And no one, not even Senators Cruz, Paul, Lee and Rubio, believes the president would do that. All the posturing that’s being done to present this as a battle between Intrepid Republicans versus the Surrender Caucus is nothing more than political theater.” But is it comedy or tragedy?
At least they have Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) with them, which may be enough to sink it. “Sen. Joe Manchin broke ranks with the Democrats on Wednesday, saying he would vote against President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Ron Binz, a move that could sink the nomination.” They need to send out a search party for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), “who has not yet stated her position.”