In a rare admission, a Democrat, the third ranking Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, has admitted that pushing through Obamacare in the manner and at the time they did was a mistake. He seems to think this was a political mistake instead of a policy mistake.
In their haste to pass this misguided law they neglected to read it or take into consideration the unintended consequences. In fact, he predicted that “ … by November those who voted for healthcare will find it an asset, those who voted against it will find it a liability,” on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in March 2010. One of their unintended consequences was losing the House in the next election.
Schumer did take care to emphasize that he supports the law and thinks that its effect has been generally positive. During a speech at the National Press Club, said that those healthcare changes “are and will continue to be positive changes.” He claims that what was wrong was that Democrats misused their mandate after the 2008 election to focus on healthcare as opposed to the economy at the height of the recession.
“After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them,” Schumer said. “We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform.”
Senator Schumer noted that only about 5 percent of registered voters in the United States lacked health insurance before the implementation of the law, arguing that to focus on a problem affecting such “a small percentage of the electoral made no political sense.” What he failed to note was the percentage of voters paying more, or still not having health insurance since the implementation is an indicator of the failure of the program.
The larger problem, affecting most Americans, he said, was a poor economy resulting from the recession. “When Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, ‘The Democrats aren’t paying enough attention to me,” Schumer said.
“The middle class would have been more receptive to the idea that President Obama wanted to help them” making them more receptive to the health care law, if Democrats had passed legislation to help the middle class get through the recession first. On the heels of the passage, by the Democrat Congress, in 2009 of the $787 billion economic stimulus measure, it is difficult to imagine what kind of legislation that might have been.
On the other hand, Senator Schumer, the American Public might have been much less receptive if they had know the truth instead of being lied to about whether or not this was a tax, whether or not you could keep your plan and your doctor and the real cost in terms of jobs and cost.
Senator also failed to mention that since the passage of the healthcare law many employees have seen their hours reduced and employers, preferring to let their employees sign up for the ACA, have declined to offer healthcare insurance. There was no mention of the changes Obama has made to the law in the form of waivers and postponement of some of the mandates.
The timing of this admission is coming just prior to many of the employer based mandates taking effect. His speech seems to say that the timing of this process was a mistake for Democrats politically.
Schumer says Democrats “blew the opportunity the American people gave them” in the 2008 elections, a Democratic landslide, by focusing on healthcare reform instead of legislation to boost the middle class.
“After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club.
He said the plight of uninsured Americans caused by “unfair insurance company practices” needed to be addressed, but it wasn’t the change that people wanted when they elected Barack Obama as president.
“Americans were crying out for an end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs; not for changes in their healthcare,” he said.
Pushing back against the idea that this was the wrong time for this legislation, Nancy Pelosi said there were 14 million reasons why Senator Schumer is wrong. Rep. Pelosi seems to think that there are 14 million people who now have healthcare insurance that wouldn’t have had it without the ACA, a claim that defies statistics and logic.