There’s a bit of internecine warfare going on over shouldering the blame for the problems with the PPACA:
In an interview on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Lanny Davis, White House special counsel to former President Clinton, said Democrats — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — should take ownership of their mistakes on the healthcare law.
“Nancy Pelosi should say that — we messed up…We have to take ownership,” Davis said, indicating that admitting fault is the first step to fixing the Affordable Care Act.
I think there are a number of ways of viewing this remark, including a Clintonista taking aim at a senior member of the progressive Congressional caucus, preparing the battlespace for the party squabbles to come in 2015 and 2016. However, as they say success has many fathers
While we’re on the subject of denial, I don’t usually quote Ed Rogers here but his column today is on point:
It is painfully obvious that many Democrats think the best political tactics for dealing with the numerous Obamacare problems are to ignore them, hide them or otherwise deny they exist. Democrats just keep insisting that folks are signing up and “glitches” are being fixed.
These two stories suggest that the Democrats hope Obamacare fatigue will set in and voters will begin to simply shrug as the problems become part of American life, that Obamacare will become another government-supplied annoyance for which no one is responsible and no one is to blame. The problem is that voters can’t just learn to ignore the calamity that is Obamacare because health care and health insurance are vital to the life of every American.
IMO there are several alternative explanations for the, frankly, lousy roll-out of Healthcare.gov and the attendant wobbly knees on the PPACA more generally:
- This is typical of the debuts of new programs, healthcare programs in particular. I’d like to see that quantified, particularly in comparison with the beginnings of Medicare Part D and the Medicare system more generally. My impression is that while this might not be comparing oranges with apples it might well be comparing truckloads of apples with apples.
- The objectives of the PPACA were primarily political. It achieved its political objectives already so who cares whether its administered well?
- The main objective of the PPACA was to move the Overton Window. That was accomplished when it was enacted.
- The Obama Administration was uniquely incompetent in its handling of Healthcare.gov and the PPACA more generally.
- The incompetence of the handling of Healthcare.gov and the PPACA more generally were characteristic of today’s Democratic Party which is much better at proposing Big Government solutions than administering them.
I think there’s an element of truth in all of those explanations but I lean towards #4.