“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.