Democrats Plan To Blame House Oversight Committee For Obamacare's Continued Failure, Or Something
Liberals be going crazy, y'all. Well, ever since their awesome health care reform has decided to go down faster than the Hindenburg. Red state Democrats are panicking; liberal bloggers/columnists are re-checking their works, or they should; and the faithful progressive caucus is laying the groundwork to shift blame on the House Oversight Committee for Obamacare's failures.
Byron York at the Washington Examiner wrote that:
So if the Obamacare failure stretches into December — what then? By that time, implementation delays could have serious effects on how Obamacare will function in its first year, and perhaps on its overall survival. But along with the substance of the problems will come the blame game. And Democrats, who passed Obamacare on party-line votes in 2009 and 2010, who later resisted changes or delays, and who until recently proudly repeated the White House declaration that "It's. The. Law." — there are signs those Democrats are preparing to blame Republicans for the system's problems.
A case in point is the fight in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over the testimony of Todd Park, the administrations Chief Technology Officer. Republican chairman Rep.Darrell Issa has been pressing Park to testify about the Obamacare rollout; Park, through his office, has said he is too busy. So last Friday, Issa sent Park a subpoena to appear at a hearing this week. "You are the only invited witness who remains unwilling to appear voluntarily," Issa wrote Park. "I am left with no choice but to compel your appearance."
Now, however, committee Democrats, led by ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, are demanding Issa withdraw the subpoena. In a letter to Issa, Cummings argued that Park's efforts are so vital to fixing Obamacare that calling him to testify could endanger the system's repairs. "At the request of the President of the United States, Mr. Park has been a key leader in around-the-clock efforts to improve the functionality of the Healthcare.gov website," Cummings wrote, "and diverting Mr. Park's energies at this moment could seriously impair those efforts."
Cummings also quoted a letter from Park's office to Issa saying Park is "central" to the task of fixing the troubled Obamacare website. "Pulling him away from that work even for a short time at this stage would be highly disruptive and would risk slowing the progress that has been made thus far to fix identified issues with the website," Park's office wrote.
The implication is clear: Republicans will put at risk efforts to fix Obamacare if they insist on hearing from Todd Park. And if Issa goes ahead — as he almost assuredly will — and if Healthcare.gov's problems continue — as they most assuredly will — look for Democrats to point to GOP questions as the latest cause of Obamacare's troubles.
Well, Todd Park testified yesterday, but that line of attack is beyond pathetic. Liberals had three years to prepare for the rollout of this law that wasn't popular, wouldn't cut costs, and vastly expand the size and scope of government. It's all crashing down. Yet, I can see why Democrats would do this since they have to pivot in some way. They want a hyper-regulatory progressive state; the 2012 election gave them that opportunity; and the Supreme Court left the way wide open. Now, the time to execute is here – and it's failing miserably.
Although, Republicans could easily counter that the Democrats had plenty of time to get their dream of socialized medicine right. After all, if three 20-year old developers in San Francisco can create a health care site that runs better than Healthcare.gov after a few sleepless nights, then there really isn't a good excuse for Democrats to fall back on other than admitting that their entire philosophy is wrong and produces dysfunctional results. That's not a winning formula for elections.
At the same time, it should be interesting what spin comes from this, especially after die-hard supporters of this reform, like Slate's Matt Yglesias, wrote stuff like this before Obamacare's epic implosion.
Laying down the marker—Obamacare implementation’s going to be great and people will love it: http://t.co/itm6J3BixD
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 17, 2013