By Dave Andrusko
A couple of caveats about “The long history of hitting the pause button on Obamacare,” by Jaime Fuller, which appears in today’s Washington Post.
First, Fuller used to be an associate editor at the American Prospect. The prospect of someone from that decidedly pro-Democratic publication telling us anything about ObamaCare is problematic.
Second, there are the perfunctory “well, what do you expect with legislation this immense, perfection?” hedges.
Having said that, do go to www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/27/the-long-history-of-hitting-the-pause-button-on-obamacare.
It is long—1,980 words long—but the narrative goes back to November 15, 2012 (the day before “the original deadline for states to decide whether they wanted to set up their own insurance exchange”) and ends two days ago when the “one deadline” HHS said it “would remain firm on” went poof– HHS “decided to give people who already started an application a yet-to-be-finalized amount of wiggle room to complete the process in April.”
Although it is highly unlikely Fuller would have intended this, this saga of an ever-expanding list of exemptions/extensions, back-of-the-envelope calculations, political expediency, and sheer incompetence is devastating. For example, the fact that various and sundry delays “eliminated any judgment of [a given] provision until after the 2014 midterms” (aka “from election season”) is stated overtly but is implicit throughout the account.
Take ten minutes and read “The long history of hitting the pause button on Obamacare.” Especially think about an evaluation Fuller makes near the very end. (“This” references to massive confusion on the part of the public and the desire on the part of insurance companies to know what the final, final, final policy will consist of before they go any further):
“Given this, the White House would have been best served to look at their history of delays and realize promising punctuality was not a smart move.”