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Rich Lowry: Democrats can’t hide from Obamacare’s many failings

2013-11-03T00:45:00Z 2013-11-10T09:19:20Z Rich Lowry: Democrats can’t hide from Obamacare’s many failingsBy Rich Lowry | Syndicated columnist La Crosse Tribune
November 03, 2013 12:45 am  • 

Henry Waxman made a plea Wednesday at the end of a House hearing grilling Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The California Democrat asked Republicans to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats to improve Obamacare.

Yes, Waxman, who has made a career of ideological witch hunts and smash-mouth partisanship, wants a ceasefire over Obamacare, or so he says.

He was picking up a common liberal theme: It’s not fair that Republicans continue to oppose the president’s eponymous health care law and pick at its failures, deceits and irrationalities. If only they were more reasonable, Obamacare could be tightened up with a few technocratic fixes and go on to its glorious destiny.

It’s a little late to get Republican buy-in, though. That would have required serious compromise back in 2009, when Democrats, at the high tide of their power in the Obama era, saw no reason to make any.

They insisted on this particular law, at this particular time. They own it. They own every canceled policy, every rate increase, every unintended consequence and every unpopular intended consequence. It is theirs, lock, stock and two smoking barrels.

But they can’t stop whining. They complain that Republicans aren’t as cooperative as Democrats were when the Medicare Part D prescription-drug plan had a rocky start. This is absurd. The Part D website experienced what could be accurately described as “glitches,” rather than the meltdown of HealthCare.gov. And Democrats supported the basic idea of the prescription-drug benefit.

They complain that what they really wanted was single-payer but had to settle for the unsatisfying second-best of Obamacare. Paul Krugman calls the health care law “a clumsy, ugly structure that more or less deals with a problem, but in an inefficient way.” The reason they couldn’t get single-payer, though, is that there weren’t enough Democratic votes for it.

They complain that Republicans are refusing, in the words of Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent, “to have an actual debate about the law’s trade-offs.” This is especially rich given that the president has steadfastly refused to acknowledge any trade-offs, especially that some people will lose their current insurance and have to pay more in the exchanges.

The White House is loath to give up the falsity about everyone keeping their current insurance. White House aide Valerie Jarrett tweeted that it is a FACT that “nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans.” Never mind that the entire architecture of the law is based on forcing people in the individual insurance market out of their existing plans and onto the exchanges.

In a health care speech in Boston, President Barack Obama didn’t say anything about how his prior declarations had been misleading. Instead, he tweaked his dishonesty for a different positive spin: “For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal.” Not if they are forced — as many of them will be — to buy benefits they don’t need at a price they don’t want to pay.

From the beginning, Obamacare has depended on a political ethic of doing and saying whatever is necessary. The falsehood about people keeping their coverage was essential to selling the legislation. So the president repeated it relentlessly. Now that actually allowing people keep their current coverage would undermine a pillar of the law, the president will resist all efforts to make good on his famous promise.

Near the end of his Boston remarks, the president said, “If Republicans in Congress were as eager to help Americans get covered as some Republican governors have shown themselves to be, we’d make a lot of progress.”

Is that how we’d make a lot of progress? The president got his law, and it’s possible more people will be uninsured in 2014 than if it had never passed. That’s on him, no matter how much he and his supporters want to evade responsibility for their own achievement.

Rich Lowry can be reached at comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(47) Comments

  1. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 8:22 am
    RESCISSION...............................Look it up right wingers.
  2. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 8:06 am
    The death panels have been real for decades "burnout"......where have you been? Private insurers ration treatments to enlarge profits. It's disgusting and stupid. Our healthcare dollars are being held by private entities that want to keep as much money as they can.....and they do......over 20%.

    You are unable to extract yourself from the tiny bubble you've lived in to look at the big....real big picture.
  3. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 8:02 am
    Private insurer's make billions each year by RATIONING TREATMENTS. Private Insurers have had "Death Panels" at work for 40+ years. What fool will claim otherwise?

    With a government "administered" system the profit motive is GONE. Instead of 20% of our Healthcare dollars going to the "administration" Private Insurer's utilize a government administered system could run on 5%......SAVING TRILLIONS.

    TRILLIONS.

    We have no voice in a Private Insurer's business model (unless you are a billionaire stockholder) but we have a direct and clear voice with a gov't system.....the VOTE.

    Healthcare problems solved. Next issue.
  4. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:54 am
    The enemy in all of this, in the entire healthcare debate and debacle, is the Private Insurance Industry.....who exist solely for profit and do nothing but handle money and skim 20% off the top before anyone ever sees a Doctor.
  5. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:54 am
    Here is the scam.

    SOme private insurance companies have sent out letters informing policy-holders that due to the minimum requirements found in the ACA their current policy will be cancelled because it does not meet these requirement. Most of these letters then inform policy-holders that they will automatically be put into a policy that meets these requirements and often it is a policy that is more expensive.

    Private insurers fail to notify their clients of the EXCHANGES" that exist where dropped policy-holders can shop and find cheaper policies other than the expensive one the insurer's chose to put folks in. Numerous journalists have easily uncovered this disgusting ploy.

    The enemy in all of this, in the entire healthcare debate and debacle, is the Private Insurance Industry.....who exist solely for profit and do nothing but handle money and skim 20% off the top before anyone ever sees a Doctor.
  6. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:47 am
    #5-%5 of American policy-holders will experience changes. Tough ####. Since when do we halt the progress of a Nation for 5%?
  7. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:46 am
    aone....THAT IS A LIE.

    The GOP offered nothing.

    Obamacare is a GOP plan. Suck on that.
  8. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:44 am
    I notice you can never reply directly to any facts presented in my rational arguments. What a putz. I'll simply ignore you and your chimp-like mind.
  9. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:43 am
    No one blames Doctors (except the frauds who game the system).....the primary blame for our Healthcare nightmare are the Private Insurance Companies. Once they are gone, like gaslamps and horse drawn carriages, then we'll save money and live longer.
  10. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:40 am
    Hey David.....I've been voraciously reading all of the horror stories and I am finding that it is the Private Insurer scumbags and the GOP at the root of most issues.

    Private insurance companies have been lying and misleading so badly about this ACA that KENTUCKY.....Yes.....Red State Kentucky....is suing insurers for deception and fraud related to the ACA.

    But....you know David.....you'll never learn the truth is you keep participating in the incestuous FOXNews infotainment circle-jerking bubble. Watching FOXNews is like watching a festering and porous colostomy bag slowly(but loudly) empty audibly out of the TV screen. You all will get cancer from that channel.
  11. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 05, 2013 7:35 am
    Hey "aone"......Two things.

    If you want to call me names to my face I'd be more than happy to meet you anywhere.

    2) Please tell us all just what problems YOU are having with the ACA.
  12. David Lee
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    David Lee - November 04, 2013 11:37 pm
    It appears you also learned a new word today, grow up. If you think disguising your swearing impresses it does not.
  13. drs
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    drs - November 04, 2013 5:58 pm
    Enough of the finger pointing!!! This country voted last year; the choices were Obama-Affordable Care Act, Rommney- Repeal the Affordable Care Act. The majority voted Obama; the majority of this country said what we want now put on your big boy pants and get working.
  14. Teddy Cruz
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    Teddy Cruz - November 04, 2013 5:15 pm
    As long as they do it alphabetically by 1st name Al.
  15. David Jarzemski
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    David Jarzemski - November 04, 2013 1:23 pm
    Thomas Paine Jefferson, so I take it you don't want to hear true horror stories about what devastation Obamacare is, and will be having on millions? They call folks like you ostriches.
  16. David Lee
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    David Lee - November 04, 2013 10:07 am
    Perhaps he does not comprehend the different between screenings, diagnostic testing and treatments. The emphasis in Obamacare is preventive medicine. And for all your information, I do not , nor will I ever be eligible for Obamacare, or whatever you call it. I paid top premium for my medical, it's called tri-care for life. All you have to do is serve 23 years active duty including air rescue in Vietnam, and flying cargo missions after. Easy to do. Also to point out no one will ever find one single posting of mine praising Obama or saying he is doing a good job. He's just marginally better than the creature he replaced, and 100 times better then Romney and his majic underwear. So quit making stuff up because your too stupid to comprehend a posting.
  17. David Lee
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    David Lee - November 04, 2013 10:00 am
    It's not my fault you don't comprehend anything. And for your information, the Netherlands are 7 hours different in time zone.
  18. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 04, 2013 9:21 am
    hey burnout....good thing private insurers have never denied screenings, treatments, check-ups or rehab....right? lol

    Your story smells of fiction. If it is true, call FOX and you and Mammy can be right wing celeb's for a day or two.
  19. Tim Russell
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    Tim Russell - November 04, 2013 8:20 am
    21 year olds are still covered under their parents plan. You & him were wasting your time as well as that of people trying to help you.
  20. Tim Russell
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    Tim Russell - November 04, 2013 8:16 am
    How old is she?
  21. retiredone
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    retiredone - November 04, 2013 7:10 am
    Amen to the site issue. What junk
  22. retiredone
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    retiredone - November 04, 2013 7:09 am
    Tried to assist a 21 year old grandson to get through the messy maze. did not make it. Tried the phone-equally bad. Went direct to a source and found out he had to buy some crappy stuff he would not and could not ever use. How's that you whineazzes?
  23. retiredone
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    retiredone - November 04, 2013 7:07 am
    David is again the one who is full of it, but then - that's daliy for him. Go to sleep fool
  24. David Lee
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    David Lee - November 04, 2013 1:41 am
    BULL. Her doctor should be brought up to the medical board. My mother also goes to gunderson, and they never said a word about her screening being cancelled and she has to check every 6 months. Your full of it.
  25. burnout
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    burnout - November 03, 2013 9:17 pm

    The death panels are real.

    My elderly mother was told that due to Obamacare, she could no longer receive her cancer screening (Gundersen Clinic) due to her age.

    This isn't healthcare, it's eugenics. They want you to take a pain pill and die.
  26. burnout
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    burnout - November 03, 2013 9:10 pm


    You Also Can't Keep Your Doctor

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304527504579171710423780446
  27. truthbknown
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    truthbknown - November 03, 2013 8:58 pm
    Whiners like retired one are all the same, they regurgitate some stupid comment then disappear when someone calls their bluff. C'mon retiredone, answer Cassandra's question. Have you used the plan?
  28. FUBAR
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    FUBAR - November 03, 2013 8:51 pm
    No, I have never tried to see a doctor outside of my plan. I don't have a regular doctor nor do I care to have a regular doctor at this point in my life. my wife and kids see their regular doctors and they have for a long time, and NO their plans and Doctors have never changed.
  29. FUBAR
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    FUBAR - November 03, 2013 8:49 pm
    For goodness sakes Tower, just look it up yourself. because of the new regulations by the ACA people are losing their coverage and their choice of doctors. It is happening and to think differently is crazy. Your semantics is just another Obama apologist at their finest. HIS law has changed the rules and causing people to be dropped. Oh, because the ACA doesn't say that they will lose their Doctors does not mean the ACA is not the cause of it. Obama just admitted that some people will lose their MD's because of the ACA. Blame it on greedy Doctors and insurance companies all you want, you are very good at blaming others instead of holding king Obama accountable.
  30. FUBAR
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    FUBAR - November 03, 2013 8:39 pm
    LOL SANDY, how can he use the plan? No one can get on the site... You are funny.
  31. ou812
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    ou812 - November 03, 2013 7:38 pm
    Obamacare is SOCIALISM AT ITS WORST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  32. Mike Hammer
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    Mike Hammer - November 03, 2013 6:58 pm
    Blah, blah, blah......lots of piling on, some heat and zero light. Rich, I am aware that you preach to the choir for a living through The National Review, but could you dig a little deeper for us common folk out here, please ?

    Btw, thank you...I did learn a new word: "the president’s EPONYMOUS health care law "

    "Definition of eponymous : When something is eponymous , it takes its own name as its title. For example, Foo Fighters' first album was eponymous "
  33. Cassandra
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    Cassandra - November 03, 2013 6:22 pm
    Really? Have you used the plan? No, I thought not. Just more anti-Obama ranting.
  34. tower
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    tower - November 03, 2013 4:35 pm
    List for us one GOP health care plan since Nixon. Go ahead, I dare you. You have 8 different plans to choose from according to you. Should be easy.
  35. tower
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    tower - November 03, 2013 4:32 pm
    I asked you once before, cite me one example of a person being told by Obamacare that they can't see a certain MD.
  36. retiredone
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    retiredone - November 03, 2013 4:18 pm
    On a word-Obama care SUCKS
  37. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 03, 2013 1:24 pm
    I predict quite the opposite. The best thing about this ACA implementation is that people are examining our broken, wasteful and immoral healthcare racket for the very first time.
  38. Cassandra
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    Cassandra - November 03, 2013 11:03 am
    You write the most delicious satire!
    Question for you: did you ever try to go see a doctor who wasn't part of your insurance plan's network? The insurance profiteers are constantly deciding which doctors people are allowed to visit. Under the ACA, they will operate the same way.
  39. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 03, 2013 10:39 am
    I do know this.

    Obama and Clinton can make claims no GOP-Republican-Conservative President over the past 50 years can make.....they have both REDUCED our annual Budget Deficits.

    The GOP talks a big game....but they fail miserably at everything they claim to be good at.

    Fiscal responsibility? Hilarious. Reagan TRIPLED the Nat'l Debt, Bush Doubled it. Both left huge annual budget shortfalls that were eventually fixed by the Democrats who would follow them.

    Nat'l Security? Reagan armed Saddam Hussein and fomented religious whacko's in Afghanistan creating the Taliban, he also picked up and RAN AWAY from our first encounter with jihadi suicide bomber types when he ran from Lebanon in 1983 after 241 sleeping US Marines were slaughtered while sleeping.

    Bush allowed 9-11 and then committed the biggest military mistake in US history by invading and occupying Iraq.

    The GOP is loud to cover up the fact that they really suck at leading.
  40. Tim Russell
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    Tim Russell - November 03, 2013 10:39 am
    I agree with little Richie that the Dems own Obamacare. Likewise the Repubs own the Great Recession.
  41. Buggs Raplin
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    Buggs Raplin - November 03, 2013 10:16 am
    Well, you, sir, are oblivious to the disaster unfolding daily which Lowry writes about. In 8 or 9 months the revulsion will be nation-wide, just in time for election season.
  42. FUBAR
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    FUBAR - November 03, 2013 9:36 am
    The majority of Democrats are Pro Choice, they believe that woman have the right to choose what they can do with their own bodies. (As do I) Democrats have fought the good fight on this matter and I raise my glass to you for fighting for woman's right to make their own choices except, when it comes to which doctor they get to CHOOSE. Sure you hypocrites "fight" for their rights to abort, free from Gov. interference you just want the Gov. to pick or limit the doctors they use. So FU ladies, Democrats tell you that you have the right to choose, but than turn around and take away many of your Doctors that you trust. I don't care if these ladies plans are (as many on here have said "crappy") it is their choice to keep their plan and their doctor. The ACA should be voluntary, if it works and good health coverage comes out of it people will than CHOOSE to join in. We should not be forced to join in this and people should not have to lose their Doctors over this.
  43. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 03, 2013 9:26 am
    Really Buggs? Polls show otherwise.
  44. Thomas Paine Jefferson
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    Thomas Paine Jefferson - November 03, 2013 9:26 am
    Lowry tries to paper over the miserable "roll-out" of the GOP's 2006 Medicare Prescription Plan D boondoggle.......a $Trillion dollar UNPAID for bill that passed without Democratic support. Not only was the law passed by the GOP, it was passed without any way to pay for it. So that DEBT is now showing up on Obama's ledger.

    Anyway....besides being unpaid for the GOP's Prescription bill left millions of Seniors in a prescription pill doughnut hole......uncovered and exposed.

    The major difference is that the Democrats didn't work to sabotoage the new law, they didn't vote 44 times to defund/end the new law........they worked within the framework of the law to improve it and get the flaws fixed.

    That's leadership. That is what a politician is supposed to do. The GOP has no politicians...only corporate and religious shills.
  45. The Veteran
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    The Veteran - November 03, 2013 8:19 am
    hrpufnstuf Must be tough to be liberal constantly having to defend a lying con man everyday.
  46. hrpufnstuf
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    hrpufnstuf - November 03, 2013 8:05 am
    Where's the republican plan for health insurance? There isn't one. They don't have one. They'll never have one cause they only cater to the wealthy.
  47. Buggs Raplin
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    Buggs Raplin - November 03, 2013 6:42 am
    If I was a Democrat who supported the passage of Obamacare, I'd be very nervous if I were up for re-election in 2014. Excellent column, Lowry.
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