It begins: Dems’ number two in the House calls for more money for ObamaCare website
posted at 7:21 pm on October 22, 2013 by Allahpundit
The best part of this is that he admits he doesn’t know if the site actually needs more money or not. “Give them a little” is something he seems to say almost reflexively, I guess because when a government program is failing badly, that’s just what you do. For Hoyer, throwing another hundred million or two into this quicksand is really just a symbolic vote of confidence in it, I think, nothing more. When you’re $17 trillion in debt, it’s all Monopoly money at this point anyway.
I wonder if he knows that the site’s already three times over budget. I know he wouldn’t care if he did know, but does he know? I’m curious to see just how closely the Democratic leadership is following the growth of this precious little pony they gifted to America.
Asked Tuesday how Congress could help improve the system by which millions of Americans must buy insurance by the end of the year, the House minority whip and Maryland Democrat said, “We can give them a little money.”
“[Republicans have] been pretty much focused in the House of Representatives on undermining the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in every which way that we possibly could,” he said.
Hoyer admitted that he does not know whether the project, which has already cost more than $400 million, has faced funding problems. “I don’t think that’s the reason,” he said. “If I know that, I’ll blame it.”…
“I certainly believe it’s a bad performance,” Hoyer said. “Obviously this was not done the way it should have been done, and I’m sure if I was a Republican I would yell and scream about it as well.
Ace notes that that line about Republicans undermining implementation may signal a sly inchoate Democratic attempt to suggest, without clearly stating, that it’s the shutdown that caused Healthcare.gov’s problems, not Obama’s incompetence. That’s false, of course, but there are indeed people out there in this great big country of ours who believe it. Expect to hear more of it as “repairs” to the site drag on and on, and on. Meanwhile, Ben Domenech saw the “more money” gambit coming a few days ago:
4. With the White House’s blessing, a Gang of Insert Number Here with some vulnerable/moderate Dems (Manchin, Landrieu, Pryor, Begich, Heitkamp, Warner… maybe Baucus?) could press for a package of “fix the exchanges” legislation, which could conceivably offer Republicans a chance to pass delay while appropriating more funding for the exchanges – something like: delay the mandate, delay some of the goodies, and take the exchanges offline and give them more money to fix them.
Are there even six Republicans in the Senate willing to be part of a gang like that, though? The idea of any GOPer colluding with Democrats to fix the exchanges, even if they’re able to win a delay of the law in the process, seems unthinkable to me. They’d be accused of rescuing O’s boondoggle at a moment of supreme weakness; everything you heard after the shutdown ended about RINOs like Boehner and McConnell now “owning” O-Care because they couldn’t figure out a way to stop it would multiply by a hundred. On the other hand, if the caucus unites in opposition and vows not a penny more for “repairs,” they risk being perceived as endorsing the “let it burn” approach to O-Care. Even Ted Cruz has problems with LIB — for good reason, says Breitbart’s Joel Pollak:
It is tempting, now that President Barack Obama and the mainstream media are rubbing Republicans’ noses in the mess that was the government shutdown, to let them take the “credit” for Obamacare and force them to implement it as “settled law.” After all, they played their part in forcing the shutdown by resisting any change or delay at all to Obamacare. So let them take the “credit” for that supposedly triumphant stance.
The problem is that a member of Congress has to face his or her constituents and explain what he or she is doing to help them–not in 2017, when the only realistic possibility for repealing Obamacare will arise, but today. It would be unacceptable for Rubio or Cruz to tell their constituents that the voters have to be taught a lesson. So they have to take some kind of action to “fix” Obamacare, while still pressing for its repeal.
The only way to spare the public pain from ObamaCare, the “defunders” will say, was to defund it before it started. True, but Senate math being what it was, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t happen, so what’s the Plan B to spare people now? Rubio proposes delaying the individual mandate to prevent them from suffering an unjust penalty, but if Democrats agreed to do that, it would wreak more immediate havoc on the insurance industry than fixing the website would. I’m not sure what Cruz’s Plan B is but no doubt we’ll find out in the next few days. This is why Domenech thinks the gang option is, although improbable, at least possible: You may get six purple-state Republicans who decide that the least bad option here between cutting O a blank check and declaring that not a penny of money will be spent to rescue ObamaCare no matter how many Biblical plagues its half-assed implementation unleashes upon the land is to give Obama the money he needs for the site in return for major concessions on the order of delaying the law for awhile. Can’t wait for that next round of RINO/true conservative throat-slitting.