Pompeo to Baucus: If ObamaCare is a “train wreck,” you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself

posted at 8:01 pm on April 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Just a friendly reminder from Republican Sen. Mike Pompeo to his esteemed colleague Sen. Max Baucus about exactly where all of this “train wreck” blame belongs:

Dear Senator Baucus,

I was stunned, and also saddened, to read of your complaint that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is doing an insufficient job informing the public about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.  My shock wasn’t because I disagreed: You’re right to say this legislation has led to great uncertainty for hard-working Americans, small business owners, and families.  No, I was shocked because you wrote this bill.  I was saddened because your acknowledgement of the harm caused by PPACA has come so late.

Unlike you, the American people have opposed this law from the moment it was first introduced in Congress.  How hard was it to see that even the smartest government bureaucrats can’t competently plan something as complicated as America’s health-care sector?

President Obama’s proposal to rescind the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments for 2014 is an admission that this law will not work as written.  The IRS is violating the clear language of this law by planning to spend more than half a trillion dollars and tax millions of employers and individuals without congressional authorization.

No one in the country bears more responsibility for the complexity of this law than you.  When your supermajority couldn’t pass the bill using normal procedures, you and your Senate colleagues rammed through the final legislation by using parliamentary gimmickry.  Then, in the House, Speaker Pelosi cheerfully urged members to pass the legislation “in order to find out what’s in it.”

This was not good policy-making, and now we’re seeing the consequences. …

However much Baucus and the Democrats might try and explain away the shortcomings of ObamaCare’s implementation as simply a poor messaging job in explaining the law to the American people (I have the funniest feeling we’ve heard that excuse before…), the fact of the matter is that Obama and the Democrats’ health-care ambitions got a little too big for the bureaucracy’s britches, and Americans are feeling the financial and economic costs.

In that same vein, Megan McArdle at the Daily Beast had some interesting thoughts following the news that the first labor union to initially support ObamaCare has now come out in favor of the law’s repeal: Is ObamaCare, in making unionized workers’ benefits less competitive compared with open shops’, going to start putting out of business some of the very unions that fought so hard for its passage? I have to wonder if they ever really took a moment to the whole thing through:

Benefits are one of the major ways that unions recruit and retain members.  And there’s no way that they can compete for low-wage workers with the heavy subsidies the government is offering.

It would be ironic indeed if many of the private sector unions who supported Obamacare (with the promise that these problems would later be fixed) had actually signed their own death warrant.  But it seems this may be what has happened.  There’s no money in the budget for the government to extend subsidies to the union plans, or exempt them from the various coverage expansions and taxes.  And there’s no money in the union coffers to compete with the government subsidies that have already been enacted.


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No one in the country bears more responsibility for the complexity of this law than you. When your supermajority couldn’t pass the bill using normal procedures, you and your Senate colleagues rammed through the final legislation by using parliamentary gimmickry. Then, in the House, Speaker Pelosi cheerfully urged members to pass the legislation “in order to find out what’s in it.”

This was not good policy-making, and now we’re seeing the consequences. …

Well stated and an awesome theme for the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Eh, 6 months from now the libs will be blaming Dubya because in Leftist Land they are never wrong.

Bishop on April 18, 2013 at 8:08 PM

And never let the world forget that he and everyone that voted for the Health Control Bill are responsible. Every debate, press conference, and speech during the elections should hammer this point. Never let up.

DAT60A3 on April 18, 2013 at 8:08 PM

“Never let a crisis go to waste” – Dems
Even if it is generated by them

Electrongod on April 18, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Reminds me of this scene from Misery (at 8:35).

aunursa on April 18, 2013 at 8:13 PM

+1 bishop

cmsinaz on April 18, 2013 at 8:13 PM

You know, maybe Rubio and Toomey could get behind this, instead of, oh I don’t know, other irrelevant legislation.

beatcanvas on April 18, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Small correction: Pompeo is a Representative, not a Senator. KS’s senators are Roberts and Moran.

topdawg on April 18, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Reminds me of this scene from Misery (at 8:35).

aunursa on April 18, 2013 at 8:13 PM

LOL!

tom daschle concerned on April 18, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Erika, He’s the 4th district rep here in Kansas, not a Senator. He’s my representative. (Wichita Metro Area)

Bravo, Mr. Pompeo. My wife and I are glad we voted for you.

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Private sector unions may have “signed their own death warrant?” This is a crisis the GOP needs to exploit for all it’s worth. Let the Unions speak out against it and then pile on. “Train wreck” Baucus, “you have to pass it to find out what’s in it” Pelosi, and “if you like the plan you have now” Obama should be featured prominently in ads from now to Nov 2014. I don’t know the odds of building a veto proof majority in Congress, but if we could pull that off and repeal Obamacare it would be as sweet a defeat of the left as I could hope for in my lifetime.

questionmark on April 18, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Once again, I maintain that ObamaCare was designed to fail. They had no intention of continuing the charade of “The Secretary shall determine”; “The Secretary shall decide”; “The Secretary shall formulate”.

It was a scam from Day One. At some point in 2010, 2011, they were going to throw up their hands and say “Hey! We tried! It’s too complicated! We’re moving right into a single-payer (government run) system.

Only the 2010 election results got in their way. Conservatism, as it turns out, wasn’t “dead”. People got fed up with Nancy Pelsoi.

So let the cards fall where they may. And when the 2014 elections come up, bring up all the FAILINGS of ObamaCare.

GarandFan on April 18, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Erika, He’s the 4th district rep here in Kansas, not a Senator. He’s my representative. (Wichita Metro Area)

Bravo, Mr. Pompeo. My wife and I are glad we voted for you.

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2013 at 8:16 PM

If Pompeo keeps this message going, he will be the future Senator from Kansas. I’d send him money. :)

monalisa on April 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

There’s no money in the budget for the government to extend subsidies to the union plans, or exempt them from the various coverage expansions and taxes. And there’s no money in the union coffers to compete with the government subsidies that have already been enacted.

Bwha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

I guess the Unions were for it – before they knew what was in it. Dumb@sses.

Hill60 on April 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Ahhh…Let’s not forget the GOP controlled House that vowed to defund Obamacare and betrayed that promise.

NeoKong on April 18, 2013 at 8:39 PM

On the lighter side, I found no “Womp.” None. Not one, at all.

ExpressoBold on April 18, 2013 at 8:42 PM

The Dems never run out of lies because they are psychologically incapable of understanding that there even is such a thing as the truth. To a lib anything he/she says is by definition the truth.
So next year Obamacare will be an offshoot of Romneycare and we all know who’s fault that was, and besides Obamacare would work if it the Repubs didn’t throw roadblocks in the way. Oh yeah big business, big oil, big pharma and Paul Ryan all want to push grandma off the cliff.
Anyone who reads this blog knows; you can totally destroy a lib’s argument and the next day he will bring up the exact same points, and this goes right over the head of 50 million Americans every time.

halfbaked on April 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

If Pompeo keeps this message going, he will be the future Senator from Kansas. I’d send him money. :)

monalisa on April 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

He’s have my vote. I still have my ‘I Like Mike’ button from his first campaign laying around here somewhere…

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2013 at 8:44 PM

He’d — oops.

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

When a good portion of your bill is “The Secretary of HHS will decide…” and you don’t like their decisions…that’s on you, pal.

Axeman on April 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Eh, 6 months from now the libs will be blaming Dubya because in Leftist Land they are never wrong.

Bishop on April 18, 2013 at 8:08 PM

The most batshirt left ones will be demanding Congress pass a law barring private companies from laying off people in order to save money on health care mandates.

jon1979 on April 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Barry will find a way (on our dime) to grease those union palms. If he doesn’t, Hillary will. You betcha.

Philly on April 18, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Erika, Pompeo is a Congressman, not a Senator.

KeepOhioRed on April 18, 2013 at 9:03 PM

“think” Dyslexia Untied

tom0508 on April 18, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Media hard at work as we speak to start turning the narrative out about how Republicans were responsible for the train wreck because they wanted to know what was in it before it was passed!

Herb on April 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Ahhh…Let’s not forget the GOP controlled House that vowed to defund Obamacare and betrayed that promise.

NeoKong on April 18, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Not really true. The Republicans have passed budgets, but the Senate has refused to do so for the last three years, because that would mean they would have to go to a Conference Committee to negotiate the differences between the two bills. Instead, they have insisted on continuing resolutions, so the only option Republicans would have is to shut down the entire Federal government to get at the miniscule outlays that currently go to Obamacare (remember that legislation was written so that none of the costs would hit until after 2012).

Shutting down the entire Federal government was a disaster for Republicans back in 1995, and wouldn’t work any better now. So focus your ire where it really belongs: Senate Democrats.

The only way to get past this is to elect a Republican majority in the Senate as well and pass a budget through both houses of congress, which will restore the regular procedures of funding the government.

HTL on April 18, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Pompeo is a US Rep, not a Senator, correct?

Texas Secede on April 18, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I guess the Unions were for it – before they knew what was in it. Dumb@sses.

Hill60 on April 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Nobody that read and understood the bill supported it. (except insurance companies)

talkingpoints on April 18, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Unlike you, the American people have opposed this law from the moment it was first introduced in Congress. How hard was it to see that even the smartest government bureaucrats can’t competently plan something as complicated as America’s health-care sector?

What’s your point Pompeo? 90% of Americans were for reasonable background checks and you voted against it. Why don’t you take your bs b!tching somewhere else.

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

The only way to get past this is to elect a Republican majority in the Senate as well and pass a budget through both houses of congress, which will restore the regular procedures of funding the government.

HTL on April 18, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Lololol. That republican senate majority worked out very well last November. Then again, I doubt I will lose any sleep if Beigich, Pryor and Backus lose their seats to some right wing hack

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:11 PM

What’s your point Pompeo? 90% of Americans were for reasonable background checks and you voted against it. Why don’t you take your bs b!tching somewhere else.

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

The operative term here is reasonable. What was proposed was not reasonable; therefore, it was voted down.

DAT60A3 on April 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Unlike you, the American people have opposed this law from the moment it was first introduced in Congress. How hard was it to see that even the smartest government bureaucrats can’t competently plan something as complicated as America’s health-care sector? How much less the chance for the bunch of government bureaucrats that this administration has put in place to plan something this complicated.

How I would have written that letter.

Probably why I’m not an elected politician.

AZfederalist on April 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM

What’s your point Pompeo? 90% of Americans were for reasonable background checks and you voted against it. Why don’t you take your bs b!tching somewhere else.

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

I have yet to see one of those polls could you give me a link to one from a reliable pollster or take your own advice!

shamik on April 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Wait, what, bureaucrats armed with computers and models and all that great stuff, can’t figure out how to run the economy? But, they went to Harvard!

Tar. Feathers. Street lamps.

Wait- it’s Montana- skip the street lamp part.

MTF on April 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Sen. Representative Mike Pompeo

cptacek on April 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM

If Pompeo keeps this message going, he will be the future Senator from Kansas. I’d send him money. :)

monalisa on April 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

If only him or Huelskamp would challenge Roberts!

cptacek on April 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM

What’s your point Pompeo? 90% of Americans were for reasonable background checks and you voted against it. Why don’t you take your bs b!tching somewhere else.

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Really? He voted against something in the SENATE and he is a REPRESENTATIVE?

Fail.

cptacek on April 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM

What 90% of Americans don’t know is there are background checks. BTDT.

But “Thank you” Rep. Pompeo. You are correct- Baucus was wrong (in addition to running an obnoxious campaign against a R but that’s for another day) and at least he admitted it. Question is: Will Baucus have the guts to do something about the mess he helped create?

I’m not holding my breath.

MN J on April 19, 2013 at 12:05 AM

It would be ironic indeed if many of the private sector unions who supported Obamacare (with the promise that these problems would later be fixed) had actually signed their own death warrant. But it seems this may be what has happened.

Looks like the union actually believed the Democrats’ promises.

AesopFan on April 19, 2013 at 1:51 AM

Train wreck? It’s ZeroCare ™ !

dogsoldier on April 19, 2013 at 5:51 AM

No, I was shocked because you wrote this bill.

As much as I enjoy this, there is no way that 2,000 page monstrosity was written in a couple of months in 2009. It has probably been sitting around since the HillaryCare defeat waiting for the next opportunity.

Odysseus on April 19, 2013 at 7:02 AM

” The IRS is violating the clear language of this law by planning to spend more than half a trillion dollars and tax millions of employers and individuals without congressional authorization.”

Dear Sen. Pompeo,

If the above statement from your letter is true why have you and Republican leadership not gone to court to block this unlawful action?

Are you planning to take action or, as has been the case far too often, just whine to the media.

Nomas on April 19, 2013 at 8:24 AM

There are lawsuits waiting to be filed as soon as the IRS starts collecting taxes in states without state run exchanges.

Zomcon JEM on April 19, 2013 at 8:41 AM

What’s your point Pompeo? 90% of Americans were for reasonable background checks and you voted against it. Why don’t you take your bs b!tching somewhere else.

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I have yet to see one of those polls could you give me a link to one from a reliable pollster or take your own advice!

shamik on April 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM

HAL’s referencing a poll by Reuters taken during Jan-Feb where 1700 responded yes at 91% to a generic question about background checks, but when asked specifically if current background check laws needed to be strengthened, the number dropped “dramatically”. It’s a simpleton’s argument, that because 1700 phone survey responders said ok to a general question that the entire 2nd Amendment needs to be pushed aside.
Millions protested Obamacare and large polls still show repeal as being popular, but that doesn’t matter. its all about that one poll of less # people that attend the average high school football game in texas.

smfic on April 19, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Baucus already has $l.5M in the bank for next year. The nearest an R has is $400K. See what we’re up against in MT. He’s been there forever and brings home some bacon every now and then to keep the folks happy while screwing the entire country from DC. Hope whoever ends up running against him keeps this letter and uses it starting now.

Kissmygrits on April 19, 2013 at 10:03 AM

There’s no money in the budget for the government to extend subsidies to the union plans, or exempt them from the various coverage expansions and taxes. And there’s no money in the union coffers to compete with the government subsidies that have already been enacted.
Bwha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

I guess the Unions were for it – before they knew what was in it. Dumb@sses.

Hill60 on April 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Ahh the law of unintended consequences. The expression “hoisted on their own petard” comes to mind.

I would have more schadenfreude but we are all going down with this stupid Obamacare.

neyney on April 19, 2013 at 11:17 AM

NOTE TO REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE:

Since Obamacare is turning out to be such a complete disaster with Democrats trampling all over each other trying to distance themselves from it, I have a great idea!

For the NEXT Presidential election, ram ANOTHER candidate down our throats that SUPPORTED OBAMACARE! This way, this issue gets taken completely off the table and it won’t end up hurting the election changes of any Dem Party candidates. What do you think about that? Huh?

Mahdi on April 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM

HotAirLib on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Why so dour?

Obamas second term is going so well.

Rainbows, unicorns and free Skittles are just around the corner.

MichaelGabriel on April 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

jon1979 on April 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such Board to be appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. All persons reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.

Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any and all of their property.

Point Three. All patents and copyrights, pertaining to any devices, inventions, formulas, processes and works of any nature whatsoever, shall be turned over to the nation as a patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates to be signed voluntarily by the owners of all such patents and copyrights. The Unification Board shall then license the use of such patents and copyrights to all applicants, equally and without discrimination, for the purpose of eliminating monopolistic practices, discarding obsolete products and making the best available to the whole nation. No trademarks, brand names or copyrighted titles shall be used. Every formerly patented product shall be known by a new name and sold by all manufacturers under the same name, such name to be selected by the Unification Board. All private trademarks and brand names are hereby abolished.

Point Four. No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive. The Office of Patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended.

Point Five. Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as it, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more and no less. The year to be known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.

Point Six. Every person of any age, sex, class or income, shall henceforth spend the same amount of money on the purchase of goods per year as he or she spent during the Basic Year, no more and no less. Over or under purchasing shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.

Point Seven. All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive.

Point Eight. All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions will be final.

affenhauer on April 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

It would be ironic indeed if many of the private sector unions who supported Obamacare (with the promise that these problems would later be fixed) had actually signed their own death warrant.

It would be more ironic if it had not been so predictable. Let’s watch as all the big-guns that supported this abuse of power realize they are toast: Kaiser and the HMOs, the drug companies, the health-care unions and the clueless AARP. You are all to be sacrificed for communist dream of soviet-era medicine.

virgo on April 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Unions won’t sign their own death warrant, they will unionize the people who claim foreign competition in exchange for two years of unemployment benefits, like the Twinky union did/sarc

mdetlh on April 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM