Schumer: The Affordable Care Act Was A Mistake To Pass In The First Term And “Made No Political Sense”

220px-Charles_Schumer_official_portraitSen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) made headlines yesterday with public statements that passing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (or Obamacare) was a mistake and “blew” the opportunity of the party to pass meaningful legislation that appealed to the middle class. As the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, the statement was a rare public rebuke of the strategy of the Obama Administration and the Democratic leadership. Schumer stated that at the time “Americans were crying out for an end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs; not for changes in their healthcare.”

Schumer criticized the decision to push through the ACA in the first term when citizens were demanding actions in other areas. He did not question the value of the ACA as much as its timing and the huge political costs of such legislation:

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus. But unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform. Now the plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed, but it was not the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs, not changes in health care.

This makes sense, considering 85% of all Americans got their health care from either the government, Medicare, Medicaid, or their employer. And if health care costs were going up, it really did not affect them. The Affordable Care Act was aimed at the 36 million Americans who were not covered. It has been reported that only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote. In 2010 only about 40% of those registered voting. So even if the uninsured kept with the rate, which they likely did not, we would still only be talking about only 5% of the electorate.

To aim a huge change in mandate at such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense. So when Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought the Democrats are not paying enough attention to me. Again, our health care system was riddled with unfairness and inefficiency. It was a problem desperately in need of fixing. The changes that were made are and will continue to be positive changes, but we would have been better able to address it if Democrats had first proposed and passed bold programs aimed at a broader swath of the middle class.

Had we started more broadly, the middle class would have been more receptive to the idea that President Obama wanted to help them. The initial faith they placed in him would have been rewarded. They would have held a more pro-government view and would have given him the permission structure to build a more pro-government coalition. Then Democrats would have been in a better position to tackle our nation’s healthcare crisis.

Source: The Hill

108 thoughts on “Schumer: The Affordable Care Act Was A Mistake To Pass In The First Term And “Made No Political Sense””

  1. I didn’t say send, it was a suggestion I just thought that you are so much in favor of socialism that you should try it. where everybody is equal the haves and the have nots are the same

  2. Well Bruce since Professor Turley is also in favor of national healthcare, perhaps you should send him there too!

  3. happypappies – “Jim22

    Inga, Who uses Medicare? No one that wants full coverage.

    Jim 22 I am going to answer that. I use it for my Husband who is a ‘Veteran because he has to wait so long for hospital care when he is really sick. He gets the money back in the end but Medicare Advantage is good insurance.”

    So are you telling me you don’t use any supplemental insurance? You use only Medicare for everything including prescriptions?

    1. Jim22 He is in the Veterans Home. At the end of the year I turn in all of his expenses and he gets refunded. When he lived at home with me his drugs were 10.00 each and there were lots of them but the Vets home costs 2100.00 a month

  4. I wonder if Prof. Turley can give his opinion on the Amnesty Executive Order and can it really be blocked or stopped?

    At least before some Democrat tries and stops you from writing your opinion on your own blog like Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Robert Brady is trying to do!

  5. @itchinBayDog ~ we need another wall built around Los Angeles too. The thing with Schumer is, if he knew this ACA destroyed the Democratic machine, then did he warn Obama about Amnesty right after the election reckoning? Obama dug his feet into the ground and are going to show us AGAIN what he thinks is good for us, whether we like it or not. That’s what I hate most about Liberals, they are control freaks and if you don’t like it, too bad, we’re going to shove it down your throats anyway!

  6. xyz, it is interesting that what he is concerned about is not the people but that ACA has damaged the democrats.

  7. NYC politicians speak Turdy Turd and a Turd. Listen to that Cuomo schmuck talk. Or Bloomberg. Or six of nine on the Supreme Court during oral arguments. We need a Berlin Wall in America built around Jersey, NY and parts of CN.

  8. Schumer is a bad joke no matter what position he takes at any particular moment in time, wasn’t it Einstein how said time is relative.

  9. Maureen ~ please forgive my typos, I just got out of the hospital for a 2 level spinal surgery in my neck and not quite myself but I love this blog and couldn’t wait to get home tonight to read it. 🙂

  10. @ Maureen McCarthy ~ The law itself has just over 2,400 pages – and approximately 2,000 instances in which specifics of the legislation were to be created by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    The Democrats definitely turned a deaf ear to America’s concern, I’m on a old fashioned Healthcare plan through the Allied Pilots Association that was contracted through American Airlines, so I’m lucky that I was not forced onto the ACA. However, I my closet friend is a teacher at Dallas ISD, with her Masters in Education and only makes in almost $56,000. She got on the ACA and pays about $624.00 a month and $6,000 deductible and it is just for herself, as her son is out of the house on his own.

    She is a Democrat too and will never vote for another one she says. She also has a female partner and that’s another thing we Republicans need to deal with. I have two sets of gay couples that I love very dearly. They have been together for more than 10 years each and I’m beginning to believe that to each his own, in love. If they want to marry, they should be able to.

    She said she would vote for Hillary but I told her about how Hillary was connected to the death of 4 people in Benghazi. She didn’t even know about the story because she doesn’t watch Fox News and the news she watches has never reported on it. So I sent her some articles for her to read in between her teaching job, her psychologist job and she is also a professor for an on-line college. Now that the ACA has lowered her economic status, she had to take up more jobs to make ends meet. She has to pay $400 to have her pain pump filled every month because the ACA doesn’t recognize the device she has implanted in her body for a back injury when she was bucked off of a horse. HEr old insurance paid and she paid a $50 deductible to a certain amount and then they paid it. So her medical bills have overrun her life now. It’s bad. Something has to be done.

    When I was working as a BookIn Officer for a county sheriff’s department, I saw unemployed people being booked in for crimes that went from drugs to rape. What got me, is when property wrote down their meds, most of them had high dollar medications like Lyrica and Nexium on their person and the state was paying for those drugs. It made me angry because these people didn’t work, were getting wic or welfare, and their out getting arrested. My teacher friend works 3 jobs, stays up until 11:30 every night grading papers and evaluating patients and gets up to teach a Special Ed & Physically challenged students every day at Dallas ISD.

  11. Sandi – I hope not! (lol)

    Now the more I think about Sen. Schumer’s remarks the more infuriated I get. In 2009 people were at town hall meetings screaming at politicians because they did not want Health Care Reform. The Democrats turned a deaf ear and passed a 1,000 page bill they didn’t read. Now people have lost their doctors, are paying $6,000 deductibles and higher co-pays. The republicans now have control of Congress and the democrats regret not doing more for the middle class.

  12. itchinBayDog here. I wanna know how much money the taxpayers paid for Michael Brown’s mom’s red hair dye job. She is ready for Vanity Fair. And to be fair she should get a front page on Forbes.

  13. Chucky Cheese Schumer should be fretting about how much money Michael Brown’s mom, dad, grandma (not grandpa) collected in government handouts since he was conceived.

  14. @Dust Bunny Queen~ I totally agree with you. The Democrats shut the Republicans out of that whole process. Republicans had no say, no input and weren’t even asked for any. The Democrats put the ACA together behind closed doors without any bipartisan support from, not one Republican. This why the TEA party formed. Do you remember Nancy Pelosi claiming the TEA Party was rioting with guns and were racists. lol What was Ferguson then. Noticed the same Occupy groups in Ferguson that were in New York. Someone is bringing these dissenters in by the bus loads. I bet Barry Obama had a hand in it too!

    I found an article last night. The Democrats are already trying to shut down Prof. Turley:

    I’m so glad Schumer spoke against it. I don’t trust him but I’m still glad that he spoke up.I feel it gives Prof. Turley some clout in the Democrat community.

  15. You use your Medicare don’t you Sandi? You accept your SS don’t you? And AGAIN Sandi, I don’t like the ACA, so your increase in drug costs are not with my blessings.

  16. Jim22

    Inga, Who uses Medicare? No one that wants full coverage.

    Jim 22 I am going to answer that. I use it for my Husband who is a ‘Veteran because he has to wait so long for hospital care when he is really sick. He gets the money back in the end but Medicare Advantage is good insurance.

  17. Professor Turley

    I am asking you because Inga (née Annie) wants to know. Actually a lot of us want to know. Do you consider National (single-payer) healthcare a redistribution of wealth. If not, why not? I know you are busy. We can wait as long as you need.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and those you love

    Sandi Hemming

  18. Pres. Obama wanted to pass ACA because he was pressured to do so by late Sen. Ted Kennedy

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