Desperate Dems: Claire McCaskill calls Obamacare a 'mistake'
For all the yelling from the press about President Trump being in political trouble, a gander at what the Democrats are experiencing is of far greater significance as election midterms approach. They're running scared. Take the case of Missouri senator Claire McCaskill, whose "yes" vote on the Affordable Care Act, alongside the Democratic herd, has brought her untold problems with her voters.
In desperation, she's now called Obamacare "a mistake" and explicitly disavowed the mess that has left her constituents poorer and angrier at her town hall meetings.
And why shouldn't they be?
Twenty-five counties in Missouri have no insurers whatsoever on Obamacare exchanges. None. They've all pulled out of the money-bleeding disaster due to "sustainabilty" issues, as one insurer told The Hill. UnitedHealthcare bailed, then Aetna, and now Blue Cross/Blue Shield. It's a stampede. Two counties have just one insurer.
Missouri has 114 counties and one independent city.
Obamacare costs have spiked an average of 20 percent in 2017, and the pain is unevenly spread. It's hit rural consumers with prices 50% higher for the same services that are delivered to city consumers. Patrick Ishmael of the Show Me Institute, in a column for Forbes, writes:
The cost of health insurance in the Obamacare exchanges is set to rise significantly in 2017. Here in Missouri, premiums are rising by over twenty points on average. But for the Show-Me State, that average rate increase only tells part of the story.
For one, the high cost of Obamacare-approved insurance plans isn't hitting customers uniformly across the state; indeed, rural customers are far more likely to be charged more for health insurance than their urban peers, even within an "Affordable Care Act" marketplace.
The failures of Obamacare go across the board, and as this Investor's Business Daily editorial out today demonstrates, it cannot be blamed on President Trump.
So what's McCaskill, who voted for the Obamacare horror, and who now owns it (as Obama skips off on vacations with billionaires), to do?
A look at her Senate web page shows an overall desire to distance herself from the Democratic Party. She calls herself an independent now, although she remains a member. She says the solution must be bipartisan, a sign of weakness if there ever was one.
"The good news is this is a moment when we can quit playing politics and come together in a bipartisan way to repair what we have," she said.
Talk about trying to wipe the egg off her face.
On her Senate website, there's no mention of Obamacare in her myriad offers to help her constituents. She wants to help, she wants to badly, but just don't bring up the word "Obamacare."
A look at her schedule shows a massive calendar of town halls among constituents, "setting the bar," as she calls it in her Aug. 10 media schedule. Four town halls in greater St. Louis announced on August 10, dozens more in smaller towns across Missouri also announced August 10, four more town halls in northwest Missouri announced August 15, three town halls in the Kansas City area announced August 16. She's getting an earful. She's telling constituents that ten Republicans are helping her get it fixed.
On Obamacare, she defensively writes about its need for improvement right out the gate, even as she praises it with the usual Obama administration false platitudes.
She helped to pass sweeping health care reform that, while in need of improvements, is protecting families from insurance industry abuses, slowing the growth of health care costs, and has expanded coverage to millions of Americans. She has worked to increase transparency in medical pricing, believing that doing so can unleash the power of consumers to help control costs.
If it has done that much, or even any of it, why is it "in need of" any un-spelled out "improvements"?
It doesn't matter. She's drawn lots of unflattering news coverage from angry constituents questioning her well. From The Hill:
Goodman says after months of trying to get action from that office, he says one of the senator's representatives from her Kansas City office told him nothing could be done to help him.
Sarah Feldman, a spokeswoman for McCaskill, provided this statement:
"Our office had been in regular communication with Mr. Goodman to address his specific concerns with his premiums and the Affordable Care Act – and we take very seriously our work serving Missourians. While the law has brought health insurance to millions who would never have had it before, it is not perfect, and Claire has worked hard to improve it. She believes we've got to make commonsense reforms to the law to make it work better for folks like Mr. Goodman who are unable to find a good option – but those reforms can only happen with the cooperation of her colleagues in Congress who only want to repeal the ACA with no plans to replace it."
What it shows is that it's increasingly hard to be a Democrat with the millstone of Obamacare around the neck. Obamacare remains a bleeding ulcer for much of the American public, which remains unconcerned about the campus-style statue-pulling dramas of the coastal cities and wants bread-and-butter issues addressed. Obamacare is failing, Democrats own it, and their insistence on propping it up or else ignoring the issue is whistling past the graveyard. Just look at the hot seat Claire McCaskill has gotten herself in. Like many Democrats, she is running scared.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky