April 18 2013

More on the Coming ObamaCare Disaster

Charlotte Hays

ObamaCare looks like it is going to be a disaster of historic proportions. What will the administration do?

Why, yes--you are absolutely right—they will blame Republicans.

Karl Rove writes this morning in a piece headlined “Steaming Toward the ObamaCare ‘Train Wreck’” in the Wall Street Journal:

In congressional testimony last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blamed Republican governors for her department's failure to create a "model exchange" where consumers could shop for health-insurance coverage in states that don't set up their own exchange.

Nice try, but GOP governors aren't the problem. Team Obama's tendency to blame someone else for its shortcomings is tiresome. The Affordable Care Act requires HHS to operate exchanges in states that won't operate their own. Since the act became law in March 2010, it has been abundantly clear that the agency would have to deploy a model exchange. It is Ms. Sebelius's fault there isn't one.

There is more to this failure. Even exchanges organized by Democratic and Republican governors may not be functioning by the health-law's Oct. 1 deadline, because HHS has been slow with guidance and approvals.

Rove points out that the law was crafted in such a complicated way that massive problems were inevitable. Of course, any law that takes over a sixth of the U.S. economy is bound to be complicated and likely to be unworkable.

Rove gets into the weeds, dealing with the Small Business Health Options Programs, which offer only one plan, despite the promise that employees would have choices. Nor has the president appointed anybody to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is assigned the daunting task of reducing Medicare spending to a target level by 2015.

How did we get in such a terrible fix?

I want to relate it to another issue and something that happened yesterday: President Obama’s bizarre and angry ress conference yesterday after the failure in the Senate of gun control legislation.

It is rare for a president of the United States to walk into the Rose Garden and pitch a fit. But that is what President Obama did yesterday. The way the president talked about his opponents on this bill was disgraceful—they are “liars,” the president of the United States charged. He even attacked members of his own party for supposedly caving to the influence of the National Rifle Association. That somebody could honestly disagree with him seems never to have crossed the president's mind. If you vote against his will, you are a coward.

What I saw was an angry man who didn’t understand the legislative process: you win some, you lose some; there is negotiation, senators vote their conscience or for what their constituents want. It is a give and take process. Representatives listen to their constituents and weigh the pros and cons of a bill before voting. Even groups that President Obama doesn't care for--the NRA springs to mind--have a right to make their arguments. But that is now how ObamaCare was passed.

ObamaCare was rammed through the Congress, with our leaders in Washington, D.C. often ignoring the will of the people. The Democrats, in hot pursuit of a dream, refused to listen to the minority party and refused to even consider incremental changes, which would have allowed for tinkering and reversal when things don’t work, to the health system.

The Democrats had a majority and they didn’t have to listen. The normal legislative process didn't apply.

The Democrats wanted what they wanted and they wanted it now.

The president wanted the same thing to happen with the gun control bill—and, when it didn’t happen, he had a tantrum.

If ObamaCare had gone through Congress in a more normal way, as the gun control bill did, listening to people with different points of view, the country would be better off.

If the president wants a second go at gun-control legislation, he should try to act like an adult this time.

 

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