BRIAN WILLIAMS: Good evening. The president today apologized, again, for what has become of his health care initiative. He admitted today he overpromised and was underinformed. He once again took the blame and explained, as he put it, he’s not a perfect man or a perfect president. Of all the things though in his presidency, it’s Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation that’s giving him the biggest problem of his presidency, and not long after he pledged again to make it right, the insurance industry called him out for changing the rules in the 9th inning of the game.
The liberal MoveOn.org is fundraising off the botched Obamacare roll out, calling on supporters to pitch in to help stave off Republican attacks on the floundering law.
In an email to supporters Thursday evening, MoveOn.org explained that President Obama’s signature health care law “is now in real trouble” because of its roll out fumbles.
“There’s no sugar-coating it: Obamacare is in serious political trouble,” the email reads. “And progressives need to step up and start fighting to save it right now.”
Heads “should have rolled” at the White House over the botched kickoff of the HealthCare.gov website, said [Democratic] Rep. Nick Rahall, who also is skeptical of President Barack Obama’s proposal to fix another problem resulting from the rollout of Obamacare…
Asked if it helps Rahall at home that Obama went out of his way to try to take the blame for the health law’s shortcomings, Rahall said “not really.”
“It’s been on him all along and look at where we are,” he added.
President Barack Obama’s credibility may have taken a big hit with voters, but he’s also in serious danger of permanently losing the trust of Democrats in Congress. The Obamacare debacle has been bad enough that it’s tough for Democrats to take on faith that the president can fix the problems. His one-time allies are no longer sure that it’s wise to follow him into battle, leaving Obama and his law not only vulnerable to existing critics, but open to new attacks from his own party.
“I don’t know how he f—-ed this up so badly,” said one House Democrat who has been very supportive of Obama in the past…
A familiar refrain from Democratic sources: Obama’s if-you-like-it-you-can-keep-it promise on insurance policies is his “Read my lips, no new taxes” moment — a reference to the broken promise that came to damage President George H.W. Bush’s credibility with his fellow Republicans.
Barack Obama won the presidency by exploiting a political environment that devoured George W. Bush in a second term plagued by sinking credibility, failed legislative battles, fractured world relations and revolts inside his own party.
Mr. Obama is now threatened by a similar toxic mix. The disastrous rollout of his health care law not only threatens the rest of his agenda but has also raised questions about his competence in the same way that the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina undermined any semblance of Republican efficiency.
But unlike Mr. Bush, who faced confrontational but occasionally cooperative Democrats, Mr. Obama has a Republican opposition that has refused to open the door to any legislative fixes to his health care law and has blocked him at virtually every other turn.
Obama is creating a long-term policy problem in order to solve a short-term political problem. Even if this temporarily reduces some of today’s political pressure, those long-term policy problems will rebound to create additional political problems as time goes by. Premiums will rise, and plans may withdraw from the market. At the same time, insurers, who have been targeted by the administration for blame and had their assurances about the state of the law upended, will be less likely to cooperate with the administration. They are already frustrated with the administration, and this will hasten the break between them. The opposition of insurers will add a new layer of opposition that the administration must contend with in order to make the law—which is built around the goal of making insurance coverage accessible—work…
The law was sold on the repeated presidential assurance that anyone who wanted to keep his or her existing health plan could do so. That promise was made so often and so forcefully because it was necessary to build enough support to pass the law, and—as we’ve seen in this week’s Democratic defections—to maintain sufficient political support for the law after it passed. Administration political aides rejected more nuanced, accurate language because they believed it wouldn’t help sell the law…
In other words, the law can’t work if it does live up to its presidential promises. But it can’t maintain political support if it doesn’t. The two are incompatible. Obama’s announcement today is an implicit acknowledgment of that incompatibility—an admission not only that the law doesn’t work, but that it can’t and won’t.
“I personally believe Obamacare is going to collapse. I doubt in three or four years anything resembling the current system is going to exist,” Gingrich told The Daily Caller in a wide-ranging interview. “Young people are going to look at this and ask themselves if they’re just going to pay the penalty, which is dramatically cheaper than buying insurance.”
“Sebelius should resign. It sends a bad message across government. Nothing like this could happen in the private sector without replacing the person in charge,” said the former House speaker and newly minted Crossfire host, whose 27th book, “Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America’s Fate,” focuses on how bureaucratic systems impede technological progress.
Obama’s proposal is an extra-legal solution to a big problem for millions of Americans around the country…
Indeed, there’s another problem. As Texas senator Ted Cruz says, the president cannot fix an unfixable law. “We cannot ‘fix’ Obamacare. The damage has been done, as millions of Americans have already been made to pay higher premiums and lose their jobs, wages, and health care plans,” Cruz said today.
President Clinton famously dismissed Obama’s candidacy for president of the United States by saying, “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen.”
With Obama’s reliance on “enforcement discretion,” it would now seem that Clinton had a point — and that the “fairy tale” continues.
Via the Washington Free Beacon.
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