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Steny Hoyer on O-care disaster: Maybe more money can fix the problem

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By Doug Powers  •  October 23, 2013 11:51 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

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For some reason I’m reminded of the episode of Gilligan’s Island (it’s “dated references Wednesday” somewhere) in which Thurston Howell III thought he could get the clunky, makeshift telephone to work if he tucked a $100 bill into it.

Asked Tuesday how Congress could help improve the system by which millions of Americans must buy insurance by the end of the year, the House minority whip and Maryland Democrat said, “We can give them a little money.”

“[Republicans have] been pretty much focused in the House of Representatives on undermining the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in every which way that we possibly could,” he said.

Hoyer admitted that he does not know whether the project, which has already cost more than $400 million, has faced funding problems. “I don’t think that’s the reason,” he said. “If I know that, I’ll blame it.”

Shorter version: We could try giving more money to fix the problems that weren’t caused by a lack of adequate funding.

Hoyer continued:

“I’m sure that everyone who was a proponent of the Affordable Care Act is not happy — me included,” he added, “because it gives fodder to those who are opposed to the substance of the act.”

It doesn’t give opponents “fodder” as much as it proves their warnings of a train wreck (red flags that originated with one of the authors of the bill, by the way) were well founded. And for some reason “relax, it’s just the website” isn’t a comforting explanation coming from the same people who had a hand in designing the rest of the law. If you were looking at a new house and the front door fell off the hinges when you walked in with the realtor, you’d be more than justified in questioning the integrity of the rest of the structure.

**Written by Doug Powers

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