Last week, President Obama valiantly – and misleadingly – defended the Affordable Care Act against the “train wreck” comments by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT). Normally, party leaders would repeat this defense, in order to stay on message and avoid the appearance of a divided party. With regards to Obamacare, staying on message is also important to prevent the law’s house of cards from continuing to collapse.
Apparently, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) never got the memo. Also last week, the Senator said he agreed that Obamacare is a train wreck. Of course, he blamed the GOP for blocking spending on the disastrous law:
“Max said unless we implement this properly it’s going to be a train wreck, and I agree with him,” Reid said, echoing a warning delivered last month by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
Reid warned the federal government is not spending enough money to implement the law because of Republican opposition to ObamaCare.
“Here’s what we have now, we have the menu but we don’t have any way to get to the menu,” Reid said.
While there is no official estimate on how much funding the GOP has withheld from Obamacare, the total is less than $10 billion. IT infrastructure funding, advertising money, and other funds have been stalled, yet this is less than less than .5% of the $2.6 trillion it is projected Washington will spend on Obamacare from 2014 to 2023.
Senator Reid also said the President is forced to shift funds around – which shouldn’t be difficult, given the hundreds of billions of dollars already appropriated – from “less important” items to advertising:
The shortage of funding to implement the law has forced President Obama to shift funds from other parts of the law.
“The president is taking money — I wish we had the money just to do this on its own, but he’s agreed, he’s determined he’s going to take money from some of the other things that he feels are less important in the healthcare bill and put it on letting you and others know what’s in the bill,” Reid told a caller to the show.
The Senator is so desperate to regain the initiative on Obamacare that he has continued to claim Speaker Boehner is negotiating on special treatment for congressional staffers, despite the Speaker’s public declaration that no discussions were on the table:
Reid pledged to live under the rules of the Affordable Care Act that apply to ordinary citizens.
Reid acknowledged, however, that he is negotiating with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to alter the law’s treatment of congressional staff.
“Right now there’s a conflict, and we’re trying to work that out,” he said.
To clarify the Speaker’s position, Tea Party Patriots reached out to his spokesman, Michael Steel. According to Steel, Senator Reid’s comments are totally off-base:
The fact that Democratic leaders want to opt themselves out of the ObamaCare exchanges shows that they realize the President’s healthcare law is a ‘train wreck.’ The Speaker would like to see resolution of this problem, along with the other nightmares created by Washington Democrats’ health law, which is why he supports full repeal. In the meantime, it is Democrats’ problem to solve. He will not sneak any language into bills to solve it for them – and the Democratic leadership knows that.
All in all, the desperation in Senator Reid’s defense of the health care law is very telling. It should give hope to those who support repealing it, especially if its implementation continues on the current track