Semantically speaking, this interview with AMA President Dr. Arvis Hoven on the AMA’s future relationship with Obamacare is pretty much a null value exercise – here’s a sample, so that you understand what I mean:
Sarah Kliff: To follow up on the point of providing information to your patients, has the White House approached the AMA or approached you about any sort of partnership between doctors and the administration on getting the word out on the Affordable Care Act?
AH: Not directly, but we have been in communication with many, many individuals in the administration about our role as physicians in this, and what we can help them do, and what we can do to help our patients get the kind of information they need. We will keep working with the administration to do whatever we can within our power to make this happen.
…translation: Nothing has been said or promised in any sort of way that cannot be ruthlessly denied, should that need occur. The Obama administration has not abandoned us to the wolves, but only because the pack has not yet come over the crest of the hill. Once that happens, it is Katie bar the door. And the rest of the interview goes pretty much the same way: the AMA pretty much has no idea how it’s going to handle the looming situation, and is pretty explicitly out of the loop over implementation of Obamacare. But that’s not the thing I want to note.
No, what I want to note is this, and it’s actually pretty incidental to this article (which I provided mostly for your amusement): you will actually be able to tell when the Democrats have given up on Obamacare. It will occur when the Democrats stop blaming the Republicans for any and all obstacles, and start blaming each other. Now, I know, I know: you’re thinking to yourself Ha! They always blame Republicans! Silly Moe! – and that’s right, they do. But here’s the thing: blaming the Republican party for killing what has always been a pretty unpopular piece of legislation (and one that is likely to become more unpopular) runs a terrible risk of becoming crediting the Republican party with killing a pretty unpopular piece of legislation, and so on, and so forth. It does not help the Democratic party’s long term goals to admit that my party has any virtues, despite the fact that, seen objectively, the Republican party’s collective refusal  to endorse Obamacare was an impressive act of moral courage*.
So while you may certainly expect a certain amount of pro forma blame-the-GOP whining from the Democrats for some time yet, you will know that Obamacare is doomed in Democratic eyes when the first groups start savaging each other over who is ‘also’ to blame for the law’s defeat. Because whoever wins that battle will probably be directing the party’s direction in the short term.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Remember: NO REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR OBAMACARE.