Reid: Administration’s Mismanagement Of Obamacare Rollout Cost The Election

225px-harry_reid_official_portraitPresident_Barack_ObamaWe have been seeing leading Democrats going public recently with their views that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” was a political blunder or a simply poorly drafted mistake. This included the third-highest ranked Democrat, Chuck Schumer, who said that it was a mistake to even try to pass the legislation in the first term when most Americans did not place health care as a priority for action. Now the highest ranked Democrat, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, is saying that the Obama Administration may have doomed Democrats in Congress with its poor management and blunders in the rollout of the program.

Reid told the New York Times: “We never recovered from the rollout because the election became one that was directed toward the president. We couldn’t overcome that.”

What is curious is that at the time many Democrats adopted largely a denial approach that borders on delusion. There were no widespread calls from Democrats for Sebelius to be fired, the subject of a past column. The rollout failure was one of the most costly in the history of his country and there were ample indicators of the coming failure. I still remain unsure why the Democrats were not more open about such views at the time. As they plunged in the polls, there continued to be a circling of the wagons around the Administration on what was a legitimate criticism of its management.

In the end, I am not sure whether it was the rollout alone that doomed the Democrats given other issues like immigration. With the defeat of Landrieu, there is not a single national-level Democrat in any office in the Deep South. The Democrats are now at their lowest level of representation since World War II in Congress. That seems more than just the rollout. Schumer blames the ACA itself, but there still appears division among the Democrats as to the cause.

163 thoughts on “Reid: Administration’s Mismanagement Of Obamacare Rollout Cost The Election”

  1. Except that it’s not 99.985 % of HCWers who want the status quo, Chip.


    I’m sure you know HCWers fall into the same political philosophical groups as the rest of American voters.

    If physicians have the same political views as their counterparts in the rest of the population, then they’re overwhelmingly Republicans, ’cause physicians are predominantly white and male:

  2. Inga – “Well, they did Medicare right. Credit where credit is due.”

    I’ve asked you this before, if it works so great, why doesn’t anyone use just medicare? Medicare is just another redistribution program brought to us by the left.

  3. Msjettexas – “Leej,
    “No jobs bills from Boehner but still creation of jobs every month bringing the unemployment level down from 10+% tp under 6% (and those who want to sat people have left the workforce, that does not moot the fact that there has been continuous job creation for over 58+ months straight.)”

    I have to ask the question, since when is it the governments job to create jobs?”

    Well put!

  4. I’m glad Inga brought up PNHP.

    I debated one of those guys in 2006 in Albany, New York, on public radio.

    They got infuriated when I mentioned the PNHP guy was at the time still writing for a Marxist publication and that he was an avowed socialist.

    I thought the guy was gonna blow a gasket. The host was mad, too.
    Pretty funny.

    1. Pogo – since the CPUSA is no longer illegal, they can all come out of the woodwork now. 😉

  5. Except that it’s not 99.985 % of HCWers who want the status quo, Chip. I’m sure you know HCWers fall into the same political philosophical groups as the rest of American voters. Last two national elections the majority was Democrats.

  6. “Linda Rae Murray also left the Communist Party in 1992 and has since worked closely with Committees of Correspondence and Democratic Socialists of America.
    Linda Rae Murray is a prominent Chicago health professional and the the immediate past president of Quentin Young’s Health and Medicine Policy Research Group.

    Quentin Young and Linda Rae Murray (left), Barack Obama (right) 2003.

  7. “Physicians for a National Health Program is a non-profit research and education organization of 19,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.”

    An organization that people join b/c they support national HI endorses single payer? I’m shocked.

    Also, 19,000 represents less than two-tenths of one percent of the 11,756,610 HC workers in the US (in 2011):

    Say, the other 99.985% of HC workers are pretty smart!

  8. Pogo thinks they’re commies.

    PNHP’s first president was Quentin D. Young, a “prominent socialist activist. He has been a close personal friend and political mentor to mentor to Barack Obama.“He was also Obama’s personal physician.

    “Quentin Young was a member of the Young Communist League USA in pre-WW2 Chicago.

    He was accused of membership of the Bethune Club of the Communist Party ( a party doctor’s group) by a government commission investigating the 1968 Democratic Party Convention riots in Chicago.

    He was a member of Democratic Socialists of America.

    Dr Peter Orris left the Communist Party in 1992 for the Committees of Correspondence. While still in the Communist Party, Orris helped Quentin Young to set up the Physicians for a National Health Plan.

  9. Suppose the gov. decided that everyone needs a car to live a proper life in the US. And not used cars, but brand new ones. Also, the gov. will pay whatever the cost of a new car.

    What do you think would happen over time to the price of cars?

    Now think about how differently the actual car market works, b/c people have to pay for their cars out-of-pocket.

    That’s the heart of the issue.

  10. How smart can a doctor be if he designs or applauds a plan that ‘inevitably falls apart under the weight of unintended consequences‘?

    They may know hearts or guts or bones, but they can’t fix your car and can’t fix your health system.

  11. Only defined-benefit programs “blow up.”

    There’s widespread agreement on what factors drive increases in HC spending (NOT “costs) in the US. The main “culprit” is innovation.

    Calling that a “cost” increase is pretty strange, IMO. The “problem”, to the extent that there is one, is the threat of lawsuits if cost-conscious patients are offered cheap, older treatments: i.e., the idea that there’s a single “standard of care” and its always “state of the art”.

    To be clear, if you think that should be the rule, fine. Just don’t then turn around and bemoan the “cost” of newer, better treatment options.

  12. Medicare claims crisis pits hospitals against feds, auditors
    “The federal government and a number of hospitals may want to transition to a new Medicare reimbursement model. But there are still billions of dollars in disputed fee-for-service claims waiting to be settled, sowing some animosity between health systems and the feds.

    The American Hospital Association and three medical centers are suing to force the Department of Health and Human Services to meet the deadlines set by Congress for administrative review of denied Medicare claims — amid a backlog of some 460,000 appeals at the close of last year.

    “At that time, the average wait for a hearing — to say nothing of a decision — was approximately sixteen months and was expected to continue to rise as the backlog grew,” lawyers for the AHA and the hospitals write in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia..:”

  13. “Well, they did Medicare right.

    Medicare websites get a scathing review/b>
    “But because of data gaps, poor design and unclear language, the GAO has found it too difficult for users to find the best prices or quality.:”

    It might surprise some people that you consider Medicare a failure. Explain how you arrived at that assessment./b>
    “I do not count Medicare as a policy success despite its immense popularity and the universal access to vital health care for seniors that it affords. First, many national commissions have found for decades that because it reflects the large inefficiencies of the underlying health care system that it finances, Medicare is very cost-ineffective compared with plausible alternatives. Second, the most important policy implementers are three quarters of a million private providers whose strong professional commitments conflict with governmental priorities, and who need not accept Medicare patients at all and are increasingly refusing to do so. Third, and related, it made almost $48 billion in improper payments in 2010, far more than any other public program (and even more since then). Fourth, demographic trends and health care cost increases may render it insolvent by as soon as 2026.:”

  14. How long before the health care spending would’ve blown up our status quo system Chip? It would’ve been a worse disaster than the Housing Market crash.

  15. Inga, one of the principal forces behind the push to “control HC costs” is the horrifying projection of Medicare spending. (Don’t bother to give me a link to Vox, ok? The projections are scary whether or not you believe the fiction of a “trust fund.”)

    So it “works” in the sense that it hasn’t collapsed yet.

  16. Oh my Pogo, you hold yourself in such high esteem. No European docs are as educated as you are, so sad.

  17. Doctors, whether European or America, are ‘big dummies’ if they think they “can plan incredibly complex economic systems. As Hayek pointed out in his writings, such “scientific” plans inevitably fall apart under the weight of unintended consequences.

    Only dummies would do that.
    Socialist doctors know medicine and nothing else.

    1. Inga – latest reports are that half of doctors are not accepting Medicare patients. If they did Medicare right, how did that happen?

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