In a much-discussed post titled “Five Thoughts on the ObamaCare Disaster,” the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein manages to cycle through the first three of Elisabeth Kübler Ross’s five stages of grief:
#149; Denial. “In the weeks leading up to the launch I heard some very ugly things about how the system was performing when transferring data to insurers–a necessary step if people are actually going to get insurance. I tried hard to pin the rumors down, but I could never quite nail the story, and there was a wall of official denials from the Obama administration. It was just testing, they said. They were fixing the bugs day by day.”
#149; Anger. “Medicare Part D was, at this point in its launch, also considered a disaster. . . . Today, Medicare Part D is broadly considered a success. But Medicare Part D had something the Affordable Care Act doesn’t: An opposition party that decided to be constructive. The federal health-care law’s not going to get much help from the Republican Party.”
Klein neglects to note that Medicare Part D, enacted in 2003, was a bipartisan bill. It’s true that most Democrats voted against it, but there were 16 Democratic votes in favor in the House and 11 in the Senate. In both chambers enough Republicans voted “no” that the Democratic ayes were necessary for passage. Even for those who voted “no,” coming around to support a new entitlement is much less of an ideological stretch for a liberal Democrat than a conservative Republican. And many Republicans now in Congress owe their seats to the backlash against ObamaCare.