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Key architect of Obamacare: This thing is headed for a train wreck

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By Doug Powers  •  April 18, 2013 04:37 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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We’ve reached the stage in Obamacare when the people who crafted (and I use the term very loosely) the legislation are being forced to attribute the many failings on implementation instead of admitting to catastrophic design flaws.

People’s Exhibit A: Senator Max Baucus:

A senior Democratic senator who helped write President Barack Obama’s health care law stunned administration officials Wednesday, saying openly he thinks it’s headed for a “train wreck” because of bumbling implementation.

“I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., told Obama’s health care chief during a routine budget hearing that suddenly turned tense.

Baucus is the first top Democrat to publicly voice fears about the rollout of the new health care law, designed to bring coverage to some 30 million uninsured people through a mix of government programs and tax credits for private insurance.

As Obamacare is absorbed into the economy (or most likely the other way around) and painful reality strikes, Baucus wants to leave Montana voters with the impression that the law was brilliantly constructed from the standpoint of authorship, but incompetently implemented after it was signed into law. That excuse reminds me of a presbyopic barber who once argued that the bad haircut he gave me was in fact perfect on both sides and the fault was with the horizontal unevenness of my ears. He got elected to the state legislature the following year.

Baucus has good reason for concern:

Baucus is facing a competitive reelection fight next year, and Republicans are sure to attack him over his role as the primary author of the healthcare law.

A messy rollout of the law’s major provisions, months before Baucus faces voters, could feed into the GOP’s criticism.

In a letter to Baucus, Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo went to town. Here are a couple of choice excerpts:

“Secretary Sebelius’s implementation of the law is certainly flawed, but the policy process produced a law that could not possibly be implemented successfully. As legislators, it is our responsibility to write bills that clearly explain our meaning and have achievable goals. By your own admission, this law is a disaster.”
[...]
“You drafted it, you twisted arms to get it passed, and, until now, you have lauded it as a model for all the world. Your attempts to pass the buck to President Obama’s team will not work, nor will they absolve you of responsibility for the harm that you have brought via this law.”

Ouch.

**Written by Doug Powers

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