April 4 2013
Joe Klein: Bad Sign for ObamaCare
Quote of the Day:
Let me try to understand this: the key incentive for small businesses to support Obamacare was that they would be able to shop for the best deals in health care superstores — called exchanges. The Administration has had three years to set up these exchanges. It has failed to do so.
This is a really bad sign.
What is interesting about this quote is its source: Joe Klein.
Time magazine’s Klein is one of the grand panjandrums of liberal journalism, and that he has noticed that ObamaCare is getting off to a disastrous start does not bode well for President Obama’s eponymous pet.
Klein does note that Republicans have stood in the way of these exchanges, which he obviously thinks is bad form because it is “their own idea.” By this he means that the idea was floated at some point or other by the Heritage Foundation.
That has been a Democratic talking point, as if Republicans are obligated to embrace any bad idea that is bruited about at a conservative think tank and then adopted in a genetically modified form by the Democrats.
But Klein lambasts the administration, which had no contingency plan for setting up the state exchanges in the face of predictable Republican resistance. Klein sees ObamaCare as threatened by the administration’s failure to have a plan:
[A]s a Democrat — as someone who believes in activist government — [President Obama] has a vested interest in seeing that federal programs actually work efficiently. I don’t see much evidence that this is anywhere near the top of his priorities.
One thing is clear: Obamacare will fail if he doesn’t start paying more attention to the details of implementation, if he doesn’t start demanding action.
This is music to the ears of those of us who think that ObamaCare is a monstrosity.
But I think Klein gets something wrong: ObamaCare is in trouble not just because the administration hasn’t planned well. It is a system that would be almost impossible to implement even by an administration that cared about actual governing.
It is a jerrybuilt disaster that Democrats rammed through Congress. They worked with breakneck speed to seize the opportunity to do something that they wanted to do. They moved so quickly that they didn’t have time to read the bill. They rode roughshod over Republicans who had ideas for a more incremental reform of the system.
I see exactly the same thing happening with immigration.