How, exactly, does a law "die on its own?"
The death is of its own accord. The pronouncement of death will be via joint House-Senate repeal somewhere between mid-2014 and mid-2015.
21 of 42 deadlines have already failed to have been met, and that percentage is only going to drop further.
It has become clear that revenues will fall far short of expectations and that deadline delays will only add to that deficit. The entire program is a house of cards and it will collapse as its financial foundation is eroded while still in its early stages of implementation.
When a Democratic Senator (Baucus) who was a major architect of the law acknowledges it is a disaster and is in trouble, that is implied consent for Democratic candidates to not just shy away from defense of the law in 2014, but to take a position against it.
The great Republican gains of 2010 were as much attributable to the fury over the 100% partisan passage of Obamacare than to other financial disasters of the first two years of the Obama administration, including the massive stimulus spending waste.
In the 2012 elections, Obama himself generally shied away from campaigning on Obamacare, as did countless Democratic House and Senate candidates. out of sight, out of mind, until November came and went.
You can't watch a day of CNBC business news these days without at least two mentions from either guests or hosts (yes, even hosts paid by NBC) of the pitfalls, negative effects and disruptive concerns regarding the program. Every week new businesses announce major changes in their hiring and/or healthcare programs due to upcoming requirements. Even after the one-year delay was announced for businesses, there was no discernible easing by the business community at large of employment decisions being impacted by the legislation going forward.
I believe many Democrats would like to get this monkey off their backs, and are hoping there will be a wave of their own members acknowledging the program is just not viable and then jumping on board once they feel it is "safe".
The program's promises are growing weaker by the day, by the week, by the month. Sentiment against it is growing stronger and more public.
Loyalty toward Obama among Democrats in Congress is fading. He is one of the earliest presidential lame ducks in history. Senators and Representatives will be watching out for their own political futures. There will be enough, at some point in the next 12-24 months, to create a veto-proof majority to repeal Obamacare.
I read a ton of websites every single day, left, right and center, and support for the law is diminishing at an unbelievable pace. Many of those still supporting it do so only out of party loyalty. They will jump ship on this legislation without hesitation once they see it's "okay" to do so. Safety in numbers.
The individual mandate, even if it is not delayed (and it still may be delayed via bi-partisan pressures), will be a disaster in terms of being administered by the IRS and there will be a huge backlash throughout 2014 as the balloons pop at a furious pace.
The law will not repeal itself, but it can still "die on its own". The Congress would merely serve as pallbearers after officially pronouncing it dead. Democrats will promise to come back with something even "bigger and better" as a way to defend their actions. Let them. They won't do it, they just have to save face.
Anyone perusing multiple and non-homogenous news sources daily, particularly business sources and sites, is aware that Obamacare is front and center in nearly every domestic financial discussion, and almost always while being cast in a negative light, stalling the recovery process on many fronts.
The purpose of my original post was to set forth my position that polarizing the issue right now on an intra-party basis (and I just watched Sen. Cruz do that very thing tonight)is about the only way that Obamacare will regain the steam it has lost since its passage. It will reach financial non-viability very quickly on its own. The concessions the administration has given to its "pet groups" only weakens its financial footing further. The administration's financial naivete is staggering, but it exists because it sees everything through political eyes.
Obamacare is, ON ITS OWN, becoming less and less of a Democrat vs Republican, Liberal vs Conservative issue. The bandages have been pulled back and the raw sore is turning people off more each time they look at it.
However, if Cruz, Paul & Lee et al turn it back into an "us" vs "them" issue, indicating heavy-handed politics, it WILL backfire. It will get the Dems backs up, and they will react instinctively rather than practically or intellectually.
They will be forced into a corner where it appears they are yielding to a few relatively-novice Republican politicians and reality dictates they will never let that happen.
If the true goal is to kill Obamacare, then it is not an issue of "principle". It is an issue of strategy, tactics and patience.
There is a tidal wave racing to shore against this legislation, powerful enough to wash it into oblivion. And the only thing that can stop it is political vanity, i.e., individuals wanting to be the ones who can claim credit for its demise.
Stand aside and let "nature" take its course.