This dreaded law began as an offhand comment for a speech then Senator Obama delivered in front of a left wing group in 2007. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were out there promising the moon on health care, and he was behind the curve so he threw out a line about how he wanted to have universal health care by the end of his first term. He didn’t even really give a hoot about health care, until later when he went all in. During the 2008 primary he slammed Hillary Clinton over the individual mandate which is now the centerpiece of his signature legislation.
Soon-to-be-candidate Obama, then an Illinois senator, was thinking about turning down an invitation to speak at a big health care conference sponsored by the progressive group Families USA, when two aides, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau, hit on an idea that would make him appear more prepared and committed than he actually was at the moment.
Why not just announce his intention to pass universal health care by the end of his first term?
Thus was born Obamacare, a check-the-box, news-cycle expedient that would ultimately define a president.
“We needed something to say,” recalled one of the advisers involved in the discussion. “I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good. So they just kind of hatched it on their own. It just happened. It wasn’t like a deep strategic conversation.”
The deep strategic conversation apparently didn’t come until later, after Obama studied and consulted with his idea of health care experts.
Obama crammed, law-school style, on the details. He became “a student of health policy,” Daschle said, consulting with liberal think tanks like the Center for American Progress, reading the research, learning the language and drawing up a plan. (Read More)
So he didn’t consult with providers and insurers but chose liberal think tanks. Is it any wonder the law is such a mess?
It’s a crying shame that he didn’t abandon this throw away line like he did his red line comment on Syria.
Oh, and why is Politico just informing us of this now? Not that it matters, with all of the low information voters out there it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. You know, hope and change and all of that.