Player of the Week: ObamaCare

ObamaCare is once again in the spotlight. But then again, has it ever really left the political stage since its passage three years ago?

Enrollment in ObamaCare starts Tuesday, though the law has recently been attracting headlines for other reasons.

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 It has been at the center of the battle on funding the government and it surely will be discussed in the debt-limit debate. Democrats note that the Affordable Care Act has survived a Supreme Court challenge and the 2012 presidential election. Republicans say the law is hurting the economy and is financially unsustainable.

 Confusion remains over ObamaCare — nearly 75 percent of Americans are somewhat worried they will have to pay more for their healthcare, according to an NBC/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

 Some on the left point out that there was fear and confusion before the Medicare prescription drug benefit was implemented in 2006. There were some glitches, but the program is now widely popular. Democrats predict that will happen with ObamaCare as well.

 Certainly, 2016 politics is at play on how Republicans are dealing with the healthcare reform law.

 Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have led the charge against ObamaCare. All except Lee are considering a White House run in 2016.

 In the mid-1990s, then-President Clinton outflanked the GOP during two government shutdowns. Republicans believe it will be different this time, especially because Democrats have rejected a succession of GOP bills that would fund the government and because President Obama is refusing to negotiate fiscal concessions that could be part of any agreement to raise the federal debt limit.

 A government shutdown and/or default is politically risky for both parties.

 During a House Rules Committee hearing on Monday, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) lamented the looming shutdown and predicted both parties would be negatively affected in the 2014 elections.

 “It is a sad day for America,” Hastings said.