In what was arguably the most embarrassing week of Barack Obama’s presidency, the House voted overwhelmingly, with substantial Democratic support, to suspend Obamacare’s individual mandate and employer mandate. We can credit the House for taking up the vote and, more generally, Republicans who have pounded away at the policy pitfalls of Obamacare.
But one Democrat saw this coming quite some time ago and spoke out, lifting this beyond a partisan spat to a serious debate about Obamacare’s future: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
On April 17, Baucus blew the whistle on Obamacare’s implementation snafus, declaring memorably: “I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” Democrats brushed off the comments, content with the president’s assurances that everything was 100 percent on track. But Baucus was right, and nearly three months to the day, the House cast its votes.
Since he is on a roll, he might consider sounding the alarm over the next train wreck, the Oct. 1 delivery date for the state health-care exchanges. Reuters reported this week:
Two U.S. government watchdogs warned on Wednesday of possible delays in the scheduled October 1 start of new state healthcare exchanges, raising further doubts about the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.
One watchdog warned the Internal Revenue Service would have difficulty completing testing of systems required to implement the law, while another from the Government Accountability Office said he also foresaw difficulties in meeting an October 1 deadline.
Maybe Democrats should take a cue from Baucus and start focusing on that deadline. To date, he’s been more candid than the president. So for predicting the train wreck and speaking out against the nonstop White House spin machine on Obamacare, we can say, well done, Senator Baucus.