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Obamacare Architect Warns “Huge Train-Wreck” Ahead


Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is now warning that the Affordable Care Act, much of which he helped write, is heading for a “huge train-wreck.” At a Senate hearing yesterday, Baucus took HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to task for the botched implementation of the ACA. In particular, he argued that the insurance exchanges consumers will use to buy insurance under the new law aren’t being set up efficiently. WSJ:

“I am concerned that not every state, including Montana, will have an insurance marketplace established in time,” he said at the beginning of the hearing, referring to the federal government’s role in setting up exchanges on behalf of the 33 states, including Montana, that have opted not to do them themselves. “The administration’s public information campaign on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act deserves a failing grade.”

Mr. Baucus later cited polls suggesting that most Americans know very little about the law, and small businesses are particularly uncertain of what they can expect and went on to tell the secretary: “I’ve got to tell you, I just see a huge train-wreck coming down. You and I have discussed this many times and I don’t see the results yet.”

This is the second major turnabout we’ve seen this week. First a union that originally supported the law is now officially calling for its repeal. Now one of the bill’s own authors is bringing his complaints into public light.

But note that Baucus was careful to frame his concern in terms of the law’s implementation, not its original content. As one of those most responsible for that content, he could hardly complain about the law itself. If Baucus is looking for a way to gracefully jump ship, harping on the implementation is the best way to do it.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s more wrong with Obamacare than the slow set up of exchange markets. The law was pushed through Congress too quickly, without enough debate or any attempt to seriously think through what its effects would be. Though Obamacare was flawed from the beginning, perhaps it would have been possible to fix some of its worst features, or make better preparations for its implementation, if Congress had taken more time on it.

That didn’t happen, and now Democrats are beginning to reap what they sowed.

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  • NoNewt

    We’re beginning to see how the Democrats function here – ObamaCare’s hallmarks are all over the Democrats’ (plus anti-sovereignty RINOs’) Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants bill:

    1. Massive, complex, unreadable bill designed to be “comprehensive” in addressing a large problem

    2. Written in close cooperation with special interests, with almost no open legislating or openness to ideas from “the people” (or even the entire Congress)

    3. Meant to be pushed through as quickly as possible, even if this means in an unorthodox fashion – see “reconciliation” for Obamacare, and the latest attempts to push through Amnesty with no debates in the Senate, courtesy of Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat)

    4. Designed to address a problem (rising healthcare costs, illegal immigrants entering the US without any enforcement of the law and harming US citizens’ employment and wages), it actually makes the problem much worse (pushing up healthcare costs, allowing the illegal immigrants to stay and encouraging even more via substitution of “future plans” in place of any enforcement or security for at least *5-10 years* (!), meaning no letup in the pain for American workers)

    5. Overall, an ethos of “we’ll have to pass it for you to see what’s inside” prevails in both cases – and the Average Joe, treated with such contempt by his closed-door lawmakers with their complex bills of thousands of moving parts, knows better than his betters from the outset that the law will only worsen a crisis and make things for him and his fellow citizens much, much worse

  • John Burke

    It has yet to hit people where it hurts but it’s coming. My single 27-year-old daughter just got a renewal notice for her individual health policy that explicitly attributes the 20% rate increase to ACA provisions such as no preexisting conditions and children eligible for her coverage up to age 26 (neat trick).

  • rheddles

    Wasn’t this mess was created by the people of Massachusetts who elected Scott Brown, forcing the Senate to act before he took his seat? I guess they already had RomneyCare, so how much worse could things get?

    • ojfl

      No it was not rheddles. The law was passed after Senator Brown took his seat and because of that they used reconciliation.

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