Obamacare allies giving up on White House leadership

Thomas Lifson
The political collapse of Barack Obama continues apace, with his own allies in the Democratic Party  starting to give up on him.  Now comes news that Obamacare supporters outside the party have decided to take matters in their own hands, rather than rely on the White House to sell Obamacare. Noam N. Levey and Kathleen Hennessey of the Los Angeles Times report:

As supporters of the Affordable Care Act brace for new headaches next year, many have concluded they cannot count on the Obama administration, whose efforts to explain and promote the law are increasingly viewed as poorly planned, unreliable and largely ineffective.

Consumer advocates, doctors groups and many health industry leaders remain committed to helping the law succeed. Most believe in its goals of expanding health coverage and restructuring the medical system to improve quality and control costs. Few see any viable alternatives.

This last sentence reveals either a leftist set of blinders or a genuine political commitment. Either way, this group cannot be considered ideological foes of the president and his party. But they are seriously disappointed:

 "I have never seen medical providers more dismissive of a White House," said one longtime healthcare lobbyist, who asked not to be identified in speaking so frankly about the president's leadership.

A health industry chief executive who supports the law bemoaned the Obama administration's lack of preparation for even foreseeable complications, such as the recent cancellations of millions of health insurance plans that don't meet the law's new standards. "There just doesn't seem to be much strategic thinking," he said.

That lack of strategic thinking seems to be a broader problem in the Obama administration. People with an academic as opposed to a professional background are prone to believe that their ideas are so good that everyone will just accept them. But this group of health care practitioners and administrators is a bit more connected to real life:

Advocates worry that other headaches await patients trying to use health insurance for the first time.

Some will discover the doctor they want to see is not in their network, an issue Republicans have already started to cite in their efforts to discredit Obamacare.

Others will find that a preferred prescription drug is not covered by their health plan.

For others, the high deductibles in many plans may come as a shock. Some who have never had insurance may not realize that their monthly premiums will not cover many of their medical expenses.

"A lot of patients are not going to be real happy," said Tom Banning, chief executive of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.

Molly Firth, public policy director at Community Health Network of Washington, which provides health coverage to poor Washington state residents, said she and others are concerned that low-income patients may select health plans with low monthly premiums, saddling themselves with high out-of-pocket costs.

More challenges could emerge as insurers decide which plans to offer in 2015 and how much they will cost. Some rates, which will start becoming public over the summer, may increase substantially.

"More challenges could emerge..." can be read as a prediction that the political fortunes of a Democratic Party tied to Obama will be tanking as the 2016 presidential election approaches. Unless, of course, it repudiates Obamacare. If 2014 is the kind of disaster for the Democrats I think it will be (unless the GOP mucks it up -- always a possibility), the GOP could take control of the Senate and bring legislatiuon repealing Obamacare to the floor of the Senate, as well as the GOP-controlled House. Then, Democrat Senators will face a stark choice: vote for repeal, or face the wrath of voters. If Obama were to veto legislation repealing Obamacare as promised, the vote to override could present one of the most dramatic moments of the young 21st Century.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

The political collapse of Barack Obama continues apace, with his own allies in the Democratic Party  starting to give up on him.  Now comes news that Obamacare supporters outside the party have decided to take matters in their own hands, rather than rely on the White House to sell Obamacare. Noam N. Levey and Kathleen Hennessey of the Los Angeles Times report:

As supporters of the Affordable Care Act brace for new headaches next year, many have concluded they cannot count on the Obama administration, whose efforts to explain and promote the law are increasingly viewed as poorly planned, unreliable and largely ineffective.

Consumer advocates, doctors groups and many health industry leaders remain committed to helping the law succeed. Most believe in its goals of expanding health coverage and restructuring the medical system to improve quality and control costs. Few see any viable alternatives.

This last sentence reveals either a leftist set of blinders or a genuine political commitment. Either way, this group cannot be considered ideological foes of the president and his party. But they are seriously disappointed:

 "I have never seen medical providers more dismissive of a White House," said one longtime healthcare lobbyist, who asked not to be identified in speaking so frankly about the president's leadership.

A health industry chief executive who supports the law bemoaned the Obama administration's lack of preparation for even foreseeable complications, such as the recent cancellations of millions of health insurance plans that don't meet the law's new standards. "There just doesn't seem to be much strategic thinking," he said.

That lack of strategic thinking seems to be a broader problem in the Obama administration. People with an academic as opposed to a professional background are prone to believe that their ideas are so good that everyone will just accept them. But this group of health care practitioners and administrators is a bit more connected to real life:

Advocates worry that other headaches await patients trying to use health insurance for the first time.

Some will discover the doctor they want to see is not in their network, an issue Republicans have already started to cite in their efforts to discredit Obamacare.

Others will find that a preferred prescription drug is not covered by their health plan.

For others, the high deductibles in many plans may come as a shock. Some who have never had insurance may not realize that their monthly premiums will not cover many of their medical expenses.

"A lot of patients are not going to be real happy," said Tom Banning, chief executive of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.

Molly Firth, public policy director at Community Health Network of Washington, which provides health coverage to poor Washington state residents, said she and others are concerned that low-income patients may select health plans with low monthly premiums, saddling themselves with high out-of-pocket costs.

More challenges could emerge as insurers decide which plans to offer in 2015 and how much they will cost. Some rates, which will start becoming public over the summer, may increase substantially.

"More challenges could emerge..." can be read as a prediction that the political fortunes of a Democratic Party tied to Obama will be tanking as the 2016 presidential election approaches. Unless, of course, it repudiates Obamacare. If 2014 is the kind of disaster for the Democrats I think it will be (unless the GOP mucks it up -- always a possibility), the GOP could take control of the Senate and bring legislatiuon repealing Obamacare to the floor of the Senate, as well as the GOP-controlled House. Then, Democrat Senators will face a stark choice: vote for repeal, or face the wrath of voters. If Obama were to veto legislation repealing Obamacare as promised, the vote to override could present one of the most dramatic moments of the young 21st Century.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky