Kuttner: Obamacare a Complete Mess; President Lost Control of the Narrative and the Politics

The latest liberal to lament Obama’s downward spiral is Robert Kuttner, founder of the liberal The American Prospect magazine. Kuttner says that Obamacare is a “colossal mess,” was an “accident waiting to happen,” and that the President has lost both the “narrative” and the politics of the situation.

Kuttner, of course, was an advocate of single payer and was unhappy that Obamacare didn’t go for the elimination of private healthcare at the outset. And in his newest op ed, Kuttner reiterated his position that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was bad law in the first place.

“The Affordable Care Act,” he wrote at Huffington Post on November 17, “as a government mandate for people to purchase private insurance with an array of possible subsidies, had too many moving parts. It was an accident waiting to happen.”

With Obamacare, Kuttner said, “we got a program that was poorly understood by the public because it was almost impossible to explain and even harder to execute.”

This is all in keeping with what he held in 2009 when he said that Obamacare was “dubious legislation” that left the “two worst aspects of the system intact.” In 2009 Kuttner felt that leaving insurance in the hands of employers and allowing private insurers to remain in existence was a mistake.

In this month’s piece, the magazine founder went on to note that the “bungled roll out of Obamacare” has given the Republicans a new lease on life just when they were on their last legs.

But the mechanics of the law isn’t the biggest problem, Kuttner said. There is also a question about Obama’s “character.”

“The president has lost control of both the narrative and the politics. The Republicans, who were unable to destroy Obamacare by holding the budget hostage, are now enjoying watching it fall of its own weight. The Democrats are divided into one camp uneasily standing by their president and another wanting to put distance between themselves and this mess.”

“The character of the legislation is only half the story,” Kuttner said dourly. “The other half is the character of the president.”

This is a stark assessment, one that loads the bulk of the blame right onto Obama’s shoulders.

“So the debacle reflects both flawed legislation and flawed leadership,” Kuttner continued. “At the rate things are going, the law may never take full effect. If the bungled roll out costs Democrats control of Congress, repeal will be the Republicans’ top priority.”

This all means that Republicans could find a popular rallying point to surge back into power putting everything Obama and his far left followers have put into place since Obama’s elevation to the White House.

If the GOP is able to overcome its own “schisms,” Kuttner says, this will essentially be Obama’s fault. The GOP “could hardly have scripted things better,” he wrote.

And Barack thought buying insurance was hard…
Bunny Ranch Sex Workers Praise Obamacare
  • Lawrence Westlake

    Kuttner is being naive. Obama hasn’t lost anything and he won’t lose anything. His constituents have very little connection to Obamacare. Obamacare is a cancer upon the middle classes who actually have to work for their livings. Obama’s core supporters, however, either belong to the very upper classes, the underclasses already dependent upon the government, the retired middle classes or those with already-vested public money healthcare, or young kids a decade or more away from having any clue whatsoever. Or they’re so dumb and uninformed they wouldn’t in any case be able to connect the dots. Plus Jan. 2017 won’t arrive any sooner and all it’ll take is a couple of Angles, O’Donnells, Akins and Mourdocks (inevitable, in large part) and the GOP will march in place in Nov. 2014, notwithstanding this ongoing Obamacare disaster.

  • 914

    He may have. Lost his membership card to the human race long ago..

  • Retired military

    I wonder if Kuttner is as racist as Oprah and Chico. I mean after all he did call Obamacare a mess.

    • jim_m

      Clearly according to Oprah and Chico…

      Opposition to obamacare is only because obama is black

      But we know that

      A) obamacare is failing

      and

      B) people are opposing obamacare because it is failing

      Therefore… according to Oprah and Chico obamacare is failing because obama is black.

      Racists.

      • Retired military

        Chickenshit Chico refuses to respond to the fact that people who oppose Obama’s policies are called racist by Oprah, the leftstream media, prominent dems and a lot of liberals in general. Yet these “racists” also opposed the same policies that Obama advocates when they were advocated by Bill and Hillary, Gore, Kerry, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, etc and weren’t called racists by the left then.

        • jim_m

          I disagree. He responded by defending that position. He is just as much of a race merchant as the rest of them.

          • Retired military

            No Jim
            He did not defend the use of racism by the left. He defended Oprah over and over and over and over again.
            He did not respond to my question despite being asked numerous times.
            But you are right. He is a race merchant.

          • jim_m

            Fair enough. But I fail to see where commenting in a thread about what Oprah said that there is a difference between defending her and defending the racist bullshit that she said.

          • Commander_Chico
          • jim_m

            So your defense that you aren’t a racist is to post a picture of racists? Too much.

          • Commander_Chico

            Were the Black Panthers racists, or were they fighting for their rights against racists?

          • Jwb10001

            Yep you and Oprah.

          • Commander_Chico
          • Retired military

            Hey Chico

            1, Oprah said that millions of people who she thinks don’t like her because she is black have to die. Why is this not racist? If Bush had said that millions of blacks have to die because he thinks that they don’t like him he would have been run out of the country on a rail. Yet Oprah says it openly about whites and you stand there defending her.
            You keep not addressing that but you do keep trying to skirt around what she said.

            2. You failed to address Joe Wilson whom Oprah specifically called out. YET AGAIN (and no surpise)

            3. You failed to address the fact that Oprah, You , the Lamestream media, Reid, Pelosi, and other major dems have called people racist simply because they oppose Obama’s policies. The same policies they objected to when espoused by Bill, Hillary, Al Gore, Kerry, Reid, Pelosi, and other dems.

          • jim_m

            In the same manner as Hitler was only fighting for the rights of Germans against the Jooos.

            They espoused violence against people based on their race. There were plenty of non-racist white people at that time. Excuse their hate any way you like. Fact is Chico, you are a racist and you will defend any violence against white people and you increasingly defend people who stoke racial hate toward whites.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Racists one and all. You’ve finally found the right company to keep.

        • Rdmurphy42

          You forgot to mention carter …

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            who?

          • Retired military

            Carter
            You know. The guy who USED to be the worst POTUS in history up until just under 5 years ago.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Oh, Dhimmi…

  • GarandFan

    “The character of the legislation is only half the story,” Kuttner said
    dourly. “The other half is the character of the president.”

    Kuttner is a RACIST!

  • 914

    With Obamacare, Kuttner said, “we got a program that was poorly understood by the public because it was almost impossible to explain and even harder to execute.”

    Obama built that.. We just had to wait for the website to fail to see whats in the filibuster proof revamped bastard child formerly known as Obamacare.

  • LiberalNightmare

    The messaging is the problem here.

  • Commander_Chico

    Kuttner is right.

    • Brucehenry

      Not only is Kuttner right, he was right in 2009.

      But the fact remains that no one has even attempted to fix the healthcare mess since Hillary failed in 1994. Republicans held both houses of Congress for 12 years, the White House for 8, and all three for 6, and didn’t lift a finger.

      Obama and the Dems at least try to do something and are met with a lot of obstruction, lies about “death panels” and “government takeovers,” and whining.

      • LiberalNightmare

        We have to do something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Commander_Chico

        The problem is they used the Heritage Foundation’s plan to force everyone to buy private insurance.

        • Brucehenry

          That’s what I mean about him being right in 2009.

          • Commander_Chico

            Yep.

        • Jwb10001

          Which was also Hillary’s plan by the way.

        • Jwb10001

          Which was also Hillary’s plan by the way.

        • Retired military

          Hey Chico

          1, Oprah said that millions of people who she thinks don’t like her because she is black have to die. Why is this not racist? If Bush had said that millions of blacks have to die because he thinks that they don’t like him he would have been run out of the country on a rail. Yet Oprah says it openly about whites and you stand there defending her.
          You keep not addressing that but you do keep trying to skirt around what she said.

          2. You failed to address Joe Wilson whom Oprah specifically called out. YET AGAIN (and no surpise)

          3. You failed to address the fact that Oprah, You , the Lamestream media, Reid, Pelosi, and other major dems have called people racist simply because they oppose Obama’s policies. The same policies they objected to when espoused by Bill, Hillary. Reid, Pelos, Gore, Kerry, etC EtC

      • Hank_M

        There’s too much in your entry to rebut so I’ll simply ask what lies about “death panels”?

        What do you think the IPAB is if not a death panel.

        “The IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them,”

        What would you call that Bruce? What would you call that if you were one of the patients being denied life saving care due to cost considerations?

      • jim_m

        Truth is that people have proposed solutions and several states had attempted some reforms but the left has blocked all of those because the only solution they are interested in is socialism.

        I listed a number of issues that would address the problem but you and the left aren’t interested in market reforms you are only interested in government control of healthcare and through that people’s lives.

        It isn’t a health care problem for you and your lefty buddies, it is an ideological problem that requires a political solution.

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

        Because fixing that which was not broke was just going to result in a debacle such as the one we saw unfold in Massachusetts and now see unfolding on the national scale.

        We were right then.

        You were wrong then.

        We were right in predicting this disaster.

        You and yours persisted in creating that disaster.

        This albatross is sewn to your neck.

        By the way? What’s it like to be a racist’s hood ornament?

      • Retired military

        Actually Bruce. Under Bush republicans held the house and senate for 4 at the same time. Jumping Jeffords cost them 2 years.

        • jim_m

          Stop confusing bruce with facts. He knows that facts have nothing to do with “truth”.

    • Retired military

      Hey Chico

      1, Oprah said that millions of people who she thinks don’t like her because she is black have to die. Why is this not racist? If Bush had said that millions of blacks have to die because he thinks that they don’t like him he would have been run out of the country on a rail. Yet Oprah says it openly about whites and you stand there defending her.
      You keep not addressing that but you do keep trying to skirt around what she said.

      2. You failed to address Joe Wilson whom Oprah specifically called out. YET AGAIN (and no surpise)

      3. You failed to address the fact that Oprah, You , the Lamestream media, Reid, Pelosi, and other major dems have called people racist simply because they oppose Obama’s policies. The same policies they objected to when espoused by Bill, Hillary. Reid, Pelos, Gore, Kerry, etC EtC

  • Rdmurphy42

    3.) The Heritage Foundation created the individual mandate

    This is one of the most ubiquitous components of the myth amongst the left and the media. I don’t consider this surprising, since the Heritage Foundation is the most well-known “conservative” think tank in America. It’s a massive, far-reaching enterprise and it has spent decades as the standard-bearer of American conservatism for most national observers.

    On a technical level, I would argue that the myth is incorrect. It’s true that Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation was the first to propose an individual mandate to purchase health insurance in 1989. Some have said that the individual mandate first appeared in a paper by economist Alain C. Enthoven of the Jackson Hole Group, but that paper was actually published three years later in 1992.

    While Butler did create the individual mandate, it would be misleading to say that the Heritage Foundation created it. If Butler were officially calling for the individual mandate as a spokesman for Heritage, it would be very different, but that’s not the case. Please note the clear disclaimer at the start of Butler’s essay:

    Note: Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.

    So, while Stuart Butler may be appropriately named the Father of the Individual Mandate, the Heritage Foundation itself can claim no such paternity. May the Heritage Foundation bear a little bit of the blame for promoting Butler’s individual mandate later on in response to HillaryCare? Perhaps, but that’s very different from creating it.

    And what about Butler himself? Is he still a conservative even though he created the individual mandate? Well, yes. We all make mistakes, as human nature is obviously flawed. At times, we make arguments that we haven’t fully thought through for the purpose of winning a debate, or out of desperation. With the potentially disastrous idea of an employer mandate floating around health care policy circles for years prior to Butler’s essay, he understandably wanted to make a case for an alternative reform.

    His alternative reform proposal turned out to be a bad idea as well, but he has at least admitted as much. A note on that article: In it, Butler claims that he came up with the individual mandate in order to provide a “viable alternative” to President Clinton’s plan. However, since President George H.W. Bush was still in office when Butler first proposed the individual mandate, I consider this a misleading claim.

    He also points out three differences between the individual mandate that he proposed and the at the heart of ObamaCare, but I would argue that those differences are important only on a technical level. The principle of government compelling people into commerce was the same. There are several other debatable points in the essay, but I’ll leave it at that for the sake of brevity.

  • Rdmurphy42

    iPad was misbehaving so here is the link. Section four is pertinent as well. So, let’s get rid of the worn out and illegitimate “the individual mandate is a conservative idea because “heritage” argument shall we?

    http://principlesandpolicy.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/debunking-the-obamacare-is-conservative-myth-part-2/

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