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. Pogo:

    Yep, my deductible changed from $500 to $5,000, too, under Obamacare.

    So I really scratch my head when smug Obamacare supporters explain to me that I’m really lucky to have lost my policy that had $500 deductible, covered everything I needed, every doctor/surgical facility I wanted accepted it, etc.

    I’ve heard repeatedly that Obamacare critics are liars, but I really hope they get to walk a mile in my shoes.

    Once the employer mandate hits, they’ll get a taste.

  2. Barking Dog… yu siad:

    I insist on repealing the free medical care which Congress and federal judges get

    That is patently untrue. I thought we’d resolved that contention?

  3. Pogo,
    She should feel blessed Obamacare protected her from being cancelled once she was diagnosed. And, and 6.7 million people have enrolled, so she has that going for her. By the way, Elizabeth Warren would say she didn’t earn that savings all by herself.

  4. “But Obamacare changed her deductible to $5000(!!) from $550, so“…

    …which means she faces spending $10,000 for this illness, $5K in December and $5K in January.

    Obamacare will wipe out her savings.

  5. Maybe repeal Obamacare but along with it I insist on repealing the free medical care which Congress and federal judges get. Let them buy insurance from their salary. Repeal social security and medicare. Also Medicaid. Also Aid To Dependent Children and Food Stamps. Also repeal all war authorizations and bring home all troops. Reduce the armed forces to a smidgen. Start a militia.

  6. You’re very kind, Olly.

    I see ACA defects every day.
    Last week, we diagnosed a woman with breast cancer.
    But Obamacare changed her deductible to $5000(!!) from $550, so we are scrambling to try it get everything done before January 1.
    It’s evil, the way I see it,

  7. Pogo,
    This has been a very good thread for you. I appreciate your rational approach to this topic; it tends to overwhelm those trying to shoehorn the ACA into their single-payer paradigm and it’s interesting to see how long it takes before they tap out. Well done!

  8. I was talking about Lee Atwater. Here is more on Lee and The Southern Strategy with the N word aborted so as to appease WordPress:

    This Wikipedia article explains why the South is solid RepubliCon:

    Atwater on the Southern Strategy[edit]

    As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of the interview was printed in Lamis’s book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater’s name revealed. Bob Herbert reported on the interview in the October 6, 2005, edition of the New York Times. On November 13, 2012, The Nation magazine released a 42-minute audio recording of the interview.[7] James Carter IV, grandson of former president Jimmy Carter, had asked and been granted access to these tapes by Lamis’s widow. Atwater talked about the Republican Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan’s version of it:

    Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964 and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

    Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Ni r, ni r, n r.” By 1968 you can’t say “ni r” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N r,
    n r.”[8][9]

    Atwater also argued that Reagan did not need to make racial appeals, suggesting that Reagan’s issues transcended the racial prism of the “Southern Strategy”:

    Atwater: But Reagan did not have to do a southern strategy for two reasons. Number one, race was not a dominant issue. And number two, the mainstream issues in this campaign had been, quote, southern issues since way back in the sixties. So Reagan goes out and campaigns on the issues of economics and of national defense. The whole campaign was devoid of any kind of racism, any kind of reference. And I’ll tell you another thing you all need to think about, that even surprised me, is the lack of interest, really, the lack of knowledge right now in the South among white voters about the Voting Rights Act.”[10]

    1988 election[edit]

    Atwater’s most noteworthy campaign was the 1988 presidential election, where he served as the campaign manager for Republican nominee George H. W. Bush. A particularly aggressive media program included a television advertisement produced by Floyd Brown comparing Bush and Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis on crime. Bush supported the death penalty for first-degree murderers, while Dukakis opposed the death penalty. Dukakis also supported a felon furlough program originally begun under Republican Governor Francis Sargent in 1972. Prison furlough programs had been long established in California during the governorship of Republican Ronald Reagan, prior to 1980, but never allowed furlough for convicted murderers sentenced to life in prison.[citation needed]

    In 1976, Massachusetts passed a law to similarly ban furloughs for first-degree murderers, and Dukakis vetoed the bill. Willie Horton was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for stabbing a boy to death during a robbery. While on weekend furlough, Horton kidnapped a young couple, tortured the young man, and repeatedly raped the young woman. Horton became the centerpiece of Atwater’s ad campaign against Dukakis. The issue of furlough for first-degree murderers was originally brought up by Democratic candidate Al Gore during a presidential primary debate. However, Gore never referred specifically to Willie Horton. Dukakis had tried to portray himself as a moderate politician from the liberal state of Massachusetts. The Horton ad campaign only reinforced the public’s general opinion that Dukakis was too liberal, which helped Bush overcome Dukakis’s 17-percent lead in early public opinion polls and win both the electoral and popular vote by landslide margins.[citation needed]

    Although Atwater clearly approved of the use of the Willie Horton issue, the Bush campaign never ran any commercial with Horton’s picture, instead running a similar but generic ad. The original commercial was produced by Americans for Bush, an independent group managed by Larry McCarthy, and Republicans benefited from the coverage it attracted in the national media. Referring to Dukakis, Atwater declared that he would “strip the bark off the little bas—d” and “make Willie Horton his running mate.”[1] Atwater’s challenge was to counter the “where was George?” campaign slogan Democrats were using as a rallying cry in an effort to create an impression that Bush was a relatively inexperienced and unaccomplished candidate. Furthermore, Bush had critics in the Republican base, who remembered that his pro-choice positions in the 1980 primary and that the harder the campaign pursued Dukakis’s liberal positions, the bigger his base turnout would be.

    During the election, a number of allegations were made in the media about Dukakis’s personal life, including the unsubstantiated claim that his wife Kitty had burned an American flag to protest the Vietnam War and that Dukakis had been treated for a mental illness. In the film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Robert Novak reveals for the first time that Atwater personally tried, but failed, to get him to spread these mental-health rumors.[11]

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