Flashback: “I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the healthcare bill,” Baucus said, according to the Flathead Beacon. “You know why? It’s statutory language. ... We hire experts.”
|Senate Democrats pass Obamacare|
In Yiddish it is called Chutzpah meaning nerve, gall, insolence or audacity, take your pick but Senators Max Baucus of Montana and Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Maria Cantwell (Wash.), all have it in spades as they tear into Gary Cohen, head of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, over a "glitch" written into the Obamacare law and the administrations handling of implementation of the law.
Starting with the "glitch" which the Senators blasting the Obama administration, are themselves responsible for because they passed the law, in their rush to jam it through Congress, against the opposition of Republicans and the majority of Americans who opposed the so-called Affordable Care Act at the time of passage.
Via Kaiser Health News:
Finally, Wyden pressed Cohen to help find ways to resolve a glitch in the law which may result in the denial of federal assistance to millions of Americans of modest means who could be priced out of family health coverage at work. He referred to the Internal Revenue Service ruling last month that workers cannot get federal tax credits to help them purchase coverage in health insurance marketplaces, unless the cost of the individual’s coverage through their workplace exceeds 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income. The ruling ignores the fact that the cost of family coverage would be much higher.
“We’ve got millions of people – working-class, middle-class people – who are going to be pushed into a regulatory health coverage no man’s land,” Wyden said. “They are unable to afford the family coverage through their employer and ineligible for the subsidy that could be used by dependents on the exchange.”
Other complaints by these ballsy Senators include: (Via WSJ)
"Baucus questioned how well the online health insurance marketplaces would interact with what he called 'archaic' computer systems at Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service," Kaiser reports.
Cantwell, the Hill reports, "criticized the administration for delaying implementation of the Basic Health Program--an option for states to provide cost-efficient health coverage outside of Medicaid and the law's new insurance exchanges." It was supposed to start next year but the administration is delaying it until 2015. Cantwell asked Cohen: "Are you artificially raising the cost to all taxpayers by trying to lure them onto the exchange?" (Cohen said no, the Basic Health Plan, in the Hill's paraphrase, "simply had to take a backseat to other priorities.")
Wyden pressed Cohen to help find ways to resolve a glitch in the law which may result in the denial of federal assistance to millions of Americans of modest means who could be priced out of family health coverage at work," according to Kaiser. At issue is an IRS ruling limiting federal subsidies for such plans. Said Wyden: "We've got millions of people--working-class, middle-class people--who are going to be pushed into a regulatory health coverage no man's land." So much for President Obama's promise that if you like your plan, you can keep it.
And Nelson "hammered" the Department of Health and Human Services "for inviting Congress to cut funding for a new nonprofit insurance model."
Each of these complaints from these Senators that all voted for Obamacare. when they could have joined Republicans in the Senate to stop it, stem from the very language and power given to the Obama administration written within the law itself.
A law they passed. Voted for. Yet now wish to distance themselves from.
If the law is impracticable to implement, or if it gives too much discretion to executive-branch agencies like the IRS or the HHS, these problems could have been anticipated if lawmakers had not been so anxious to ram the bill through. Any single Democrat who was a member of the Senate in December 2009--including Baucus, Cantwell, Nelson and Wyden--could have single-handedly halted the process simply by joining the 40 Republicans in declining to approve a vote on the floor. Instead, every last one of them yielded to political pressure and voted "yes."
"Democrats are getting nervous and consequently are trying to put some distance between themselves and the ACA," Mead observes, using the abbreviated formal styling of ObamaCare as the Affordable Care Act. "We don't blame them for trying, but it may be a futile effort. For better or worse, their fates are now tied to that of Obamacare."
Nelson's quote is the most audacious of them all though when he said "I want somebody to be accountable for this, and if it was a mistake, for somebody to own up to it."
Look in the mirror Senator Nelson and you will see who should be held accountable.
Between the 20+ taxes written into the law, some of which have not even been implemented yet, the sticker shock young Americans are being hit with as they discover the cost to insure themselves has doubled and in some cases will triple, and the redefining of "full time" to 30 hours so that employers would be forced to insure part time workers but instead has caused a large number of businesses, universities, and even states to cut workers' hours to avoid the costs, this Obamacare law has been a disaster since it's inception.
Bottom line is that Obama and Democrats own Obamacare, lock, stock and barrel and attempting to now distance themselves from the vote to pass it, is nothing more than political theater.