Obamacare

Are Democrats Starting to Regret Obamacare?

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Senate HELP

Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat and chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which did much of the heavy lifting on early drafts of Obamacare, now thinks that passing the law in its current form was a mistake.

The system created by the law "is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively," he told The Hill. "We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn't do it. So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all."

What would have been the "correct" way? Single payer, Harkin said, or at least the inclusion of a government-run insurance plan—widely known as a public option. Harkin tells The Hill that when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress in 2009 and 2010, they had the votes necessary to pass those plans into law.

In some sense, this is just a revisionist liberal fantasy. Obamacare passed in the complex, insurance-industry friendly form it passed in because it was the only form that could secure enough votes, and even then it only barely made it over the finish line. Moderate Democrats were deeply concerned about the possibility of appearing to support a government takeover of the insurance industry, which a single-payer plan would have done, and which a public option would have taken a step toward. The health care industry groups—doctors and hospitals and insurers—whose support the White House believed was critical to passing the law would not have backed any such plan. Instead, they would have spent hundreds of millions loudly opposing it. Obamacare was either going to pass in a form that looked essentially like the one it passed in, or it was not going to pass at all.

Yet Harkin's comments also suggest a dawning realization on the part of at least some Democrats that the health law has created significant political problems for the party. Harkin isn't the first prominent Democratic legislator to express regrets about the timing and construction of the law in recent weeks. At a National Press Club appearance last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also complained about prioritizing the health care law in 2009. Democrats "blew the opportunity" they had when they held complete control of Congress and "put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform," he said.

Keying off of Schumer's remarks, New York Times opinion contributor Thomas Edsall looks at the ongoing political fallout from the health care law. Polling data has consistently shown that more of the public opposes the law than supports it, and in the months since the major coverage expansion kicked in, more people now say that the law is making things worse for themselves and their families. Of the 60 Democratic senators who voted for the law, 28 are now out of office. There's historical precedent for all this too. Edsall notes that the failed attempt to pass also produced political fallout for Democrats, who saw mass defections of middle class white voters and seniors in the aftermath. 

Edsall also points to a column by political analyst Charlie Cook, who argues that Obamacare is the defining feature of the current Democratic party. The law has "framed where the Democratic party is," according to Cook. Judging by the results of last month's midterm election, it has not framed the party in ways that are politically beneficial. And party members know it: a majority of the Democratic House candidates on the ballot this year did not express clear support for the law.

Much of the Democratic party still stands behind Obamacare, of course, though they tend to defend it as a policy victory rather than on a political win. Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's response to Schumer: "We came here to do a job, not keep a job." That's an implicit admission that the politics of the law are not so good.

Even Democrats who believe the political hit is worth the policy gain should be concerned: It will be harder to maintain the law without political victories to continue supporting it, especially if it keeps underperforming. No, the law has not imploded or collapsed under its own weight, but its rollout was not smooth, and enrollment in insurance is now projected to go at a notably slower pace than originally expected for the next several years.

The complexities of the law that Harkin complained about, and the corrections he says are needed, make the ongoing task of managing the law even more challenging. Witness the headaches caused by the administration's decision to auto-renew health plans for those covered through the exchanges: The move will bolster enrollment numbers, but is also likely to leave many enrollees in plans with premiums that rise sharply and unexpectedly. That possibility has in turn given rise to proposals for even more drastic and potentially disruptive technical tweaks.

None of this is likely to make the law more popular with the broader public, which will in turn make it even harder to sustain politically. Indeed, compared with the years prior to President Obama's election, the American public is now significantly less likely to say that it is the job of the federal government to ensure that all Americans have health coverage. According to Gallup, support for the federal government ensuring health coverage generally hovered around or above 60 percent throughout the Bush administration, rising to a peak of 69 percent in 2006. But since 2009, a majority of the public has said that coverage is not a government responsibility. The percentage who believe it's not the government's job rose from 2010 through 2013, hitting 56 percent, but has dropped back somewhat in the last year. But the numbers are still strikingly different from where they were less than a decade ago, with 52 percent saying it's not the federal government's job to ensure coverage; only 45 percent say it is.

In the age of Obamacare, it's not merely that Americans have lost interest in this particular health law. They've lost interest in the larger project of government-managed universal coverage. Which suggests that Harkin may be half right in his political analysis, and too hopeful, even in his regret: Yes, it was a mistake to pass Obamacare as it is—but it may have been a mistake to pass it any form. 

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  1. Deja vu all over again

  2. Are Democrats Starting to Regret Obamacare?

    Starting?

    1. I had a comment that led with that and noted how truly insane the party is that they don’t respond to the law’s enormous unpopularity on their own with an amendment or even a repeal. Old school Democrats would’ve run for cover by now. Because, see, they weren’t batshit insane.

      1. I wrote the most inspired, insightful, witty, amazing comment ever. It was my magnum opus! AND FOR WHAT!!!!?!?!??

        1. I’m a gonna sue for wrongful deletion.

    2. It doesn’t really matter so much now. The damage to the US healthcare is done and if it’s not permanent, it will be fucked up for so long that most of us will not be alive by the time it gets better.

      And there’s no way to repeal it for at least 2 years. I don’t think it will ever be repealed in entirety. There’s lots of new tax revenue and cronyism tied up in it. When do congress ever vote to take away any of that?

      The best possible thing that could happen is that the individual mandate(penaltax) is struck down. At least then people aren’t forced to pay for expensive healthcare policies that do nothing but subsidize healthcare for others.

      1. I am hoping for that, being on the hook for the penaltax come tax time. I predict there will be another round of outrage, because lots of people don’t pay attention to this stuff, but when their tax refund is smaller, they’ll notice.

        Last month I was talking with a smart lefty friend and former Obama supporter (he’s mainly ticked off about Guantanamo), and he was shocked to learn that people who don’t have health insurance will be subject to IRS fines next year. He had never heard about that.

      2. I am not so sure about that. Get rid of the policy mandates and the employer and individual mandates and a couple of other things and a whole lot of harm gets undone.

        Don’t forget, markets adjust and heal themselves. No damage is forever. Things always return to normal once you get the government to stop treating the problem with leeches.

        1. But how do you do that? If you look at government policies in all kinds of areas since, oh, 2008 the answer to everything has been “more leeches”. Why do we think that the “cure” to ObamaCare won’t be more leeches?

          1. Maybe it will be. But that means that we have chosen not to solve the problem not that it can’t be solved if we chose to do so.

  3. Mother fucker. Where’s my comment? I’m not doing it again, and it was profound and Homeric.

    1. I’d never seen so many references to “We’re the Millers” in one post about health care.

      1. It was in dactylic hexameter and everything. With wine-dark seas!

    2. It was blind and we only have secondhand accounts that it ever existed?

      1. I took a screen shot. I’m now taking bids!

      2. Exactly. I can now say anything I want about it.

        1. This isn’t the greatest comment on the world. No, this is just a tribute.

          1. +1 Tenacious D

    3. Profound or more like profane ?

  4. Glad I didn’t comment in that other thread.

  5. Of the 28 Democratic senators who voted for the law, 28 are now out of office.

    That should be 58 who voted for, BTW.

    1. Double posted, editing errors…. so very H&R!

    2. and the fewer that are left, the harder to spread blame around. it’s a millstone that gets heavier with time.

      1. I now have a mental image of senators chained to the wheel of pain. Thank you.

    3. 29 after Mary_Landrieu gets bounced on her ample rear end

  6. Edsall notes that the failed attempt to pass produced similar political fallout for Democrats, who saw mass defections of middle class white voters and seniors.

    Pass…Hillarycare?

  7. “Much of the Democratic party is still standing behind Obamacare, of course, though they tend to defend it on its merits rather than on its political benefits”

    Defend it on its merits?

    And what would those merits be exactly?

    They have absolutely nothing of any substance to claim there are any merits to it.

    1. That probably should have read “defend it on its intentions”

      1. Well to liberals, (alleged) intentions are all that matter.

        Actual results don’t count.

    2. Defend it on its merits?

      And what would those merits be exactly?

      That it’s costing democratic legislators their jobs!

      Wait….wasn’t that its intent?

      1. Some people got health insurance they didn’t have before, and some people got it cheaper. But, of course, at the cost of millions of people losing theirs and often paying much, much more.

  8. “We should have clapped harder!”

  9. “Harkin’s comments also suggest a dawning realization”

    I would suggest that they knew exactly what this POS law was from inception to execution, but were surprised to discover that the Voting Public – for a change – *actually recognized when they were being served a shit sandwich* and didn’t buy the claim that it was just so yummy and good for them they just didn’t *appreciate it enough* yet.

    They honestly expected to be able to bullshit their way through the first few years, claiming that many people were benefiting, such that by the time people caught on to the fact that it wasn’t any cheaper, and it didn’t improve actual care, that it would be too-late to undo the major structural changes.

    Thats what i think they were told in the locker room, anyway.

    1. They probably just thought the people would just take it like they take bailouts to Wall Street, insanely high taxes, massive debt, and more.

      Of course, being idiots, they didn’t realize that if you directly increase a very visible cost that most people fret over constantly, you probably just fucked up royally. I mean, people hate writing checks to the IRS, but that’s what withholding is for (burn in hell Milton Friedman), and people only get hit once a year. But watching premiums go up every fucking month while coverage goes down? OOPS.

      1. It was amazingly stupid. There’s some meme now running through the left (wife has seen this multiple times on Facebook now) about how the rich are trying to manipulate the middle class into thinking the Democrats are screwing them. I actually laughed out loud when I heard that, because this particular instance is so obviously screwing most of us, especially in the middle class, that even true-believers have to be thinking about how awful the law is, even if Obama is dreamy.

        The smart, yet evil approach would’ve been to hide the costs. Instead, they have buried most citizens with them.

        1. ProL, burying the middle class with the costs was the point. They didn’t hide them because they couldn’t, not on that scale. Think about it: they voted to pass a bill that would directly steal from the majority of their constituents to give to someone else, and they still voted for it. And they didn’t read it to check.

          They’re not even smart enough to be called mongoloids.

          1. It’s true, I have trouble conceiving of the stupid this required. There was no way this law wasn’t going to obviously hurt almost every voter.

          2. I think this is kind of it. They didn’t hide the costs because the complexity of the law was so vast, the people passing it couldn’t get a handle on the costs. They literally needed more time to try to hide the real costs, but they were so focussed on just getting the law passed, they screwed themselves.

        2. ” the rich are trying to manipulate the middle class into thinking the Democrats are screwing them.”

          Its going to be hard to perpetuate this idea when half the party thinks they’re not *extreme-leftist enough*, and the other is trying to undo the damage of the ‘mildly leftist’ policy they just implemented.

          If i were an evil Koch billionaire (and WHO SAYS I’M NOT?!), I’d totally be donating to the Warren campaign and cheerleading Salon et al to convince the left that what they really need to do is DOUBLE DOWN and PROG HARDER.

          They need to *embrace* wealth redistribution and openly wage war against businesses! KEY TO VICTORY.

          So many in the deluded majority already believe this, but they simply need motivating to fully screw themselves.

          1. It is inherent in the prog mentality to “DOUBLE DOWN and PROG HARDER”. So they will. And when that is even more disastrous, they will do it even harder.

            What’s the definition of insanity again?

            1. Lifelong Democrat and 2 time Obama voter. About covers it.

            2. Then you mean double up, not down. You can double down only once.

              1. You can double down after the split in Vegas!

          2. “They need to *embrace* wealth redistribution and openly wage war against businesses! KEY TO VICTORY.”

            It’s been a successful strategy in Seattle. Prog harder, vote socialist! And we did.

        3. “The smart, yet evil approach would’ve been to hide the costs.”

          To be fair = they tried. The pricing of these plans by insurance companies in 2013 and 2014 has been entirely a fiction based on bogus projected demand, inconsistent and temporary subsidies, federal guarantees against losses, and other gimmicks which they THOUGHT would be enough to at least elide the appearance of major increases ‘per unit’… mainly because the ‘unit’ became harder and harder to define.

          The attempt to describe people’s previous, ‘cheaper’ coverage as ‘insufficient’ (because who doesn’t need substance abuse coverage, or pre-natal care?) was a big mistake. They knew prices would rise, and that they could sell people on the idea that “everyone needs MORE coverage whether they think so or not”

          They overlooked the fact that most people think about things pretty simply = how much of my monthly paycheck is for SHIT IM NOT EVEN USING?

          They don’t care that they’ve got @#*#&$ theoretical coverage. They know that they don’t have as much beer money as last year. And that fucking hurts.

          The people who still think that the ACA is teh awesomes? are the people who actually don’t spend all that much on HC in the first place. Anyone with young kids is pretty much taking it in the ear.

          1. That or people who are just brain dead believers. I have said on here before, the ACA is an entitlement program that managed to no create any beneficiaries. It is like some kind of Platonic form of incompetence.

    2. “Thats what i think they were told in the locker room, anyway.”

      They got Grubered into Grubering.

      Sadly I think the people who told them that are largely not going to be held accountable, it is the party rank and file that will suffer.

      1. Gruber, I predict, will be the best thing to happen to the democrats. “Hey, don’t blame us, some unelected technocrat wrote that part of the law!”

        1. Actually I’ve been told by highly intelligent people (aka Democrats) that the PPACA is no different from Romneycare, so all the blame goes to Romney.

    3. I would suggest that they knew exactly what this POS law was from inception to execution

      I don’t believe for a second than any of the assholes who voted for it read even a summary. They toed the party line and voted for it because Pelosi told them to.

      -jcr

      1. There was a lot of Kool-Aid drinking, and a lot of cognitive dissonance. Anyone who could think clearly should have known that these three things could not be simultaneously true: 1) that new regulations will force companies to expand benefits and outlaw “junk” policies, 2) that you can keep your plan if you like it, and 3) that the average family will save $2500/year.

        1. “more government intervention will reduce costs!”

  10. still rewards the insurance companies extensively

    Not sure if he is just lying or is just stupid. Forcing people to buy something is always going to be an advantage for the seller and not the buyer. Thousands of pages of regulations intent on limiting the rewards of the seller was not going to change that who had the advantage, especially when you’ve removed almost all negotiating power from the buyer!

    1. Honestly, it’s nonprofit hospitals and physicians that get hit the hardest. They are forced to take government insurance, and lose money on most cases…

      1. Rural hospitals are already closing due to Obamacare.

  11. “It seemed like a good idea at the time, Your Honor.”

    1. That cop looks so much like a cop.

    2. That cop looks so much like a cop.

    3. “Esaw Garner said she is now placing her hopes for justice with the U.S. Department of Justice.”

      Seems to me that suing the murderer, and his chain of command in civil court is her best bet.

      -jcr

  12. “This crooked law that we wrote to reward our cronies and campaign supporters is unpopular! How could we have forseen this???”

    1. In their defense *gags* most of the crooked laws they write to reward cronies and campaign supporters are either unknown to the general public, forgotten by the next election, or at least somewhat popular.

      1. “This crooked law we wrote to reward our cronies, which directly passed on the costs to the voters, is unpopular with the voters! Who could have foreseen this???”

        1. That’s where they really stepped in it. People thought they were getting free shit but they got a bill instead.

  13. I would bet half of those worthless motherfuckers had a nagging sense of ‘oh shit, what did I just do?’ the second they cast their vote. I would bet all but a handful got that feeling when they watched their colleagues asses get fired for casting that vote, and certainly now that Mary Landrieu is getting her ass kicked out there can’t be more than half a dozen die-hard crazies.
    Every goddamn POS that voted for it should be run out of Washington on a rail. Yeah they regret it and they should, but they are just now beginning to let it show. The only reason they are letting it show now is to try and keep their jobs.

    They thought they could ram that shit down our throats and not pay a price? Fuck. Them.

    1. No, they may have been a bit afraid when they heard Pelosi say Pass it to see what is in it. But they are simply sheep following the pied piper and kept repeating their lines for years. Given the same circumstances they would vote the same. They are only regretting it now that it is showing itself as the turd it is – and the people are getting wise to it.

    2. “The only reason they are letting it show now is to try and keep their jobs.”

      According to the blog post, it’s because they’re retiring.

    3. I would take that bet. They were all latching on to “historic legislation”. The only thing on their mind was winning the battle.

  14. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Martha Coakley from Boston. Fascist bitch. Attorney General ? but I’m being redundant. I thought she was asleep. I reached over to wake her up. She bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, she’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon, the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a public employees union saw us. They swung in low and saw us. Anyway, they saw us and they come in low and three hours later a big fat union honcho comes down and starts to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened… waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never vote for a healthcare bill again. So, three hundred and fourteen democrats went in the water; less than two hundred come out and the tea baggers took the rest, November the 6th, 2012. Anyway, we passed the Bill.

    1. You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? Perfect legislation. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

      I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.

  15. Double posted, editing errors…. so very H&R!

    I blame the AUSTERITY!

    Donate, you skinflints.

    1. Welfare for Reason? It needs to take its fair share to compete with the bigger publications I guess! It’s sort of like implementing net neutrality, but way less interesting.

      1. NPR is welfare. No one is paying taxes to support Reason.

        1. I have to look at stupid advertisements! NO HANDOUTS!

          1. congratulations.

  16. But Shriek said that Obamacare was so simple that it was written on an index card and affects literally nobody!

    1. Well it didn’t affect anyone who isn’t a middle class wage earner and have had their healthcare insurance policies completely ruined, though a lot more expensive.

      1. No, it affected every single person in the country. Try buying a catastrophic only policy, or not buying insurance at all.

        1. It hasn’t affected me personally. At least not noticeably. In fact, the only real policy that I actually notice is an income tax change. Kinda funny how angry I still get at other things…

        2. I just had a person on medicaid tell me a few days ago that it really didn’t effect them. When I told them the effect it’s had on my wife and I, they were totally shocked.

  17. Shoulda renamed it SebiliusCare at the end of ’13 like I told them. Then they could just blame her and say, “see! She’s already fired!”

  18. Are Democrats Starting to Regret Obamacare?

    No. They regret losing.

  19. What would have been the “correct” way? Single payer, Harkin said, or at least the inclusion of a government-run insurance plan?widely known as a public option.

    Oh yeah, because given how much a clusterfuck the implementation of Obamacare proved to be, turning everything over to the government would have just been wonderful….

    Of course the real problem for most people is that they have an insurance company in the mix.

    Do these guys even listen to themselves? Or do they just repeat the same bullshit they hear one another repeating.

  20. OT: Newsflash – No charges in Eric Garner case!

    A Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges against the white New York City police officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

  21. OT: NYPD officer in Eric Garner ‘chokehold’ death not indicted by Staten Island grand jury

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..-1.2031841

    1. I beat you two by several posts.

      1. Yes, yes… enjoy your victory. For the moment.

      2. I’ll have to stop blocking you! (just kidding)

  22. So it seems that everyone now agrees that Obamacare has been a total disaster. Everyone who’s not a gibbering idiot, I mean. The interesting question to me is, does that increase or decrease people’s support of single payer? I’m thinking it was done so incompetently that it has to make people more afraid of a nationalization of medicine, but what do I know.

    1. I just saw an article at New Republic yesterday praising it as the greatest thing that has ever happened to Americans, ever, even the middle class! And it’s only going to get better!

    2. I think it’s weakened the Democrats’ ability to push that, especially when they’d have to say, “Hey, you fucked up, you trusted us” first.

    3. I’m thinking it was done so incompetently that it has to make people more afraid of a nationalization of medicine, but what do I know.

      You’d think that would be the case. I mean, if someone fucks up partial responsibility, you’d probably not want to give them total responsibility. But, it probably isn’t a good idea to underestimate people’s ability to swallow bullshit.

    4. Surely, the insurance guys can look at all other single payer outcomes and understand that a little fig-leaf towards market is where their maximum reward and minimum risk lies.

    5. Single payer was always the goal they say now.The reason Obamacare is not great is because they made compromises. They want to say that single payer is the only way to make things better, but at the same time not admit that what they did pass was complete garbage.

    6. The thing is, if those who posit that this was a stalking horse for single payer are correct, the beauty is that instead of becoming a stalking horse it became an albatross instead. If their very attempt at sneak-introducing single payer fucks their chances to implement single payer utterly, there is a beauty to that which I will enjoy extensively.

      1. Exactly this EPI. They are such morons. It could only have been a stalking horse if it had passed with Republican support. Then they could have blamed the disaster on having to cater to the Republicans. Without Republican support, they can’t declare it a disaster without also being blamed for it.

    7. I think Obamacare killed the possibility of single payer ever happening. The middle class finally thanks to this piece of shit understand that government programs are nothing but official robbery taking from them to support the poor.

      You will never see the Democrats with the majority they had in Congress in 09 again. And even if you did, you will never see them with one that was that far left and willing to vote for something that likely spelled their political doom.

      Two things will not happen for a very long time after Obamacare, the public will not trust or believe in a huge government social program and Democratic politicians will not believe passing one is their ticket to a forever majority. Without both of those things, you will never get single payer.

  23. That mutherfucker can’t get out of office soon enough. His signature piece of legislation (American’s with Disabilities Act) became a complete clusterfuck long before Obamacare was being drafted.

    I hope he suffers a long, painful, disabling medical condition before passing on to whatever hell awaits him.

    1. I wish the same for everyone who voted for that piece of fucking shit.(I mean the ACA). I forgive the voters, but not congress or Obama.

      1. The voters never wanted it. Obama didn’t run on it and they punished the Democrats severely for passing it.

    2. No need to hold back. Tell it’s how you really feel.

  24. They probably just thought the people would just take it like they take bailouts to Wall Street, insanely high taxes, massive debt, and more.

    They were too fucking dumb to see the difference between those things and a giant clusterfuck that requires people to sit down every month and write a check as an ongoing reminder of what a bunch of retards infest the Capitol.

    Every dumb idea Congress comes up with should have that sort of plainly obvious price tag attached.

    1. It helps when the CEO of every company has to say, “hey, we were going to give you raises, but this is where our part of your healthcare coverage increased 25% each year since 2010. That’s about a 5% per year raise for each and every employee if you’re interested.”

  25. Obamacare passed in the complex, insurance-industry friendly form it passed in because

    …of regulatory capture. duh.

  26. A Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges against the white New York City police officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

    Policemen are ad hoc executioners. It’s the law.

    RESISTANCE IS FATAL.

  27. What would have been the “correct” way? Single payer, Harkin said, or at least the inclusion of a government-run insurance plan?widely known as a public option.

    “Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen!”

    Didn’t the Demo-rats want single-payer all along? They will bitch about how this Frankenstein’s monster was created to appease the insurance companies and “just look at what it got us!”

    1. The problem with saying that is that it will mean admitting that Obama was nothing but a corporatist stooge (which is true but not the kind of truth Democrats want to admit) and they pissed away a once in a generation majority paying off the evil insurance companies.

      The thing that completely fucks them is that they passed it without a single Republican vote. If they had managed to get even a small number of Republican votes, they could easily tell that lie and let Obama off the hook by saying it was the best he could do and the evil corporation loving Republicans forced it on him. Since they had 60 votes and told the Republcians to go fuck themselves, they can’t blame the Republicans or claim it is only bad because they had to compromise with them.

      The Democrats are fucked. They can’t make the rational case that this thing failed and was a payoff to the insurance companies because doing so means admitting fault for creating a disaster.

      1. Sometimes I wonder if they really did just let the insurers write it and didn’t realize how terrible the law really is. I mean, insurers were guaranteed not to lose money for about 10 years. AND they could segregate the worst risks onto further subsidized coverage.

        1. I think it was that and I also think it was the failure of the public option. Remember, this thing was supposed to have a public option. If we had the public option, people losing their health policies would be a feature for the Progs because it would force them onto government health care.

          I think the long game was to create a policy that made private insurance untenable for the middle class and poor and forced them onto government insurance. Once that happened, it would be easy to sell people on single payers since only the rich would have private insurance.

          When they couldn’t get the public option through, they should have given up. But they didn’t give up because they thought they had to pass something to save Obama’s sorry ass. So the plan became, pass this but put off its implementation and watch a grateful America punish the Republicans in the 2010 midterms and go back and reinsert the public option then. The only problem was they got killed in the mid terms making insterting the public option impossible.

          So the bill became this time bomb that was going to do nothing but destroy people’s insurance coverage and offer nothing as an alternative.

      2. The thing that completely fucks them is that they passed it without a single Republican vote.

        That problem will be fixed shortly, I am sure, as the Repubs scramble to use their new majorities to “mend it, don’t end it.”

        They can hardly wait to sign on to co-ownership of this steaming pile of crap.

  28. given how much a clusterfuck the implementation of Obamacare proved to be, turning everything over to the government would have just been wonderful….

    Abandoning all pretense of alternatives and confusing choices would have streamlined the process immensely.

  29. I said from day one this thing was going to be a political disaster for the Democrats and would never be popular. The people on the right who wallowed in self pity thinking the free shit brigade would make this thing popular and would give the Democrats a ruling majority never understood how this bill worked.

  30. “[…]also suggest a dawning realization on the part of at least some Democrats that the health law has created significant political problems for the party. ”

    This is the kind of narcissistic crap that pisses me off. It’s only a problem if it hurts the party! What about the significant problems this law created for the country?

  31. Of the 28 Democratic senators who voted for the law, 28 are now out of office.

    I believe it was 58 D senators plus two ostensible independents who voted for this hot mess.

  32. Harkin’s kidding himself and everyone else. No way in hell were there ever 60 votes in the Senate — and that’s what it would have taken — for single payer.

  33. Regret? Only in the short term. Gov’t as proxy for mommy/daddy never grows old, never loses its appeal, across all of human history it seems, unfortunately.

    No amount of gov’t fuck-up will ever change the typical person’s childish need to be taken care of. Gov’t is just mommy/daddy taking care of me and everything so I can play.

  34. Single Payer would be completely different from Obamacare. For one thing, it would be Constitutional. And for another, it probably wouldn’t be a further subsidization of the medical industry at taxpayer expense. It is actually a nearly perfect piece of legislation in that it moves money from the poor to the well-off while pretending to do the opposite and covering its nefarious reality with a cloak of inefficiency and error. It’s plenty efficient. Two years from now, as the money-pipes grow thick with funds, it will be entrenched.

    1. For one thing, it would be Constitutional.

      No, just no.

      And for another, it probably wouldn’t be a further subsidization of the medical industry at taxpayer expense.

      It’s pretty obvious you have no fucking clue what single payer actually is.

  35. First of all NO ONE could be denied health care prior to this steaming pile being forced down our throat. You present to an emergency room you could NOT be turned away. That was already law. These pukes lied about this obamacare fiasco from the get go without even reading the bill. That should have been the end of their political career when they came up for re-election. But no, the stupidity of the American voter and widespread voter fraud prevented that from happening. These cock suckers destroyed the best health care system in the world just to provide insurance coverage to a few million people and fucked over 300 million people to make it happen. Since it’s passage it has destroyed the job market because the insurance rates spiked and employers dropped full time employment to avoid paying for the increased rates. And those that still have full time employment are taking it in the ass because their premiums have skyrocketed along with their deductible and copay.

    1. We are now a nation of part time employees. And these rat bastards are telling us the economy has recovered? BULLSHIT!!! We now have the lowest job participation rate in the history of this once great country and the largest block of entitlement dependents as well. All so this cock sucking, purple lipped, son of a bitch can create his presidential legacy. Since this piece of shit took office he has been jacking off the working people with a handful of razor blades and telling us he’s doing us a favor. Now he’s extending healthcare and social security to all these illegals he has just granted amnesty. We are screwed.

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