Representative Paul Ryan published a short piece in USA Today on Wednesday arguing that Obamacare "will collapse under its own weight." “You can't fix a fundamentally broken law; you've got to replace it,” he writes. “That's why Congress can't save Obamacare with a few tweaks, despite what its defenders say.”
Republicans have made similar comments ad nauseam since the law passed, and every day those comments look more foolish. On Wednesday, Gallup released its newest estimates for the uninsurance rate in America. As you can see, it has plummeted since Obamacare takes effect—and continues to fall:
As Jonathan Cohn explained in The New Republic in September, the law is succeeding in many other ways as well. Health care costs are growing at a slower pace—although it’s unclear how much that is due to Obamacare or other outside factors. Premiums haven’t skyrocketed. Insurers aren’t fleeing the exchanges. But Republican comments about the law haven’t changed. For years, they unequivocally declared that Obamacare, as Ryan said Wednesday, “will collapse under its own weight.” By no definition is the law collapsing under its own weight. And all signals—the ones I mentioned above—indicate that the law won’t ever collapse under its own weight.
Republicans have forced themselves into an impossible position by setting the expectations for failure so high. Since those expectations haven't been met, they have two options: Either backtrack on the original message or double down on it. The former is politically impossible given the conservative base's insistence that their elected officials oppose the ACA at all cost. So they’re left with the latter—and that only makes Ryan and others look foolish as the good news about Obamacare keeps rolling in.