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October 1st, 2013
07:10 PM ET

Roundtable: Boehner needs a concession on Obamacare to keep his job

Will President Barack Obama or Speaker of the House John Boehner shoulder the political blame for the government shutdown?

Washington correspondent for The New Yorker Ryan Lizza said Boehner has to bring Republicans some concession – the medical device tax, or a shorter delay of the individual mandate, for example – if he wants to preserve his job.

In other words, Boehner cannot put forward a bill that funds the government, without some sort of Obamacare concession attached.

"The consensus seems to be that if he puts a clean continuing resolution on the floor, and gets no concessions whatsoever after shutting down the government, that he will lose his job as Speaker," said Lizza. "That's the bind he's in right now."

At the moment, the tea party is wielding a lot of power on Capitol Hill, practically controlling one chamber.

But co-founder and national coordinator for The Tea Party Patriots Jenny Beth Martin said this method of governing, a shutdown over Obamacare, is not what the group envisioned when it first began to rise.

"What we envisioned is that Congress listens to the American people, and right now, it's time for them to stop and listen," said Martin.

"We're having an open debate finally about Obamacare, but in the end, we've got to make sure that whatever happens from this ... partial shutdown, is something that winds up going back and taking care of the Americans," said Martin.

"It's ironic to make the case of Obamacare being a failure, on a day when we are actually seeing people going to websites starting to sign up for insurance," said editor for The New Republic Jonathan Cohn.

More than 1,000 people signed up for coverage in Kentucky Tuesday morning, said Cohn, and already two million young adults have signed on to get coverage through their parents. Seniors are also receiving more prescription drug coverage.

"This is a law that people have said in polls, even though they have mixed feelings about it, they don't want to shut down the government about it. They don't want to crash the debt ceiling over it," said Cohn.

Americans, said Cohn, are tired of debating about Obamacare.

"Let's let it run, see how it goes. If it's an abject failure, the conservatives can take it off the books in two years, but the Democrats are betting – and I think the Republicans know – it's going to be pretty popular," said Cohn.

But one of the arguments conservatives would make is that any time new entitlements are created, millions of people will like it because they get something for free. That is one of the concerns with the Affordable Care Act, especially when it comes to expanding Medicaid.

For more of our roundtable's political analysis, watch the video above.

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