Monday, August 29, 2016

History Can Be Fun

Shortly after ACA was enacted into law in 2010, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, whose Committee wrote most of it, "tried to calm an angry Montana voter by saying this: “Mark my words, several years from now, you’re going to look back and say, “Well that wasn't so bad after all”. 

Senator, we did mark your words.
It’s now been several years. 

It's pretty clear the average person today would NOT say: “Well, that wasn’t so bad after all”.  

In fact, a great many Americans are still looking for a good reason to calm down about Obamacare.

I think perspectives like these help explain why history can be fun.

Now in fairness to Senator Baucus, he had begun to change his opinion of Obamacare, in fact had become a critic, within a couple years of its passage.  Not necessarily because he disagreed with Obamacare's goals; more likely because the Administration's fumbling, bumbling, and rumbling threatened to prevent the law from accomplishing its goals.

The Washington Post reported Senator Baucus' changing opinion during 2013.   Early that year,  the Senator told HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “I just see huge train wreck coming down. You and I have discussed this many times and I don't see any results yet.” Later that year, the Post reported Senator Baucus commented (about the health-care exchanges and the government enrollment Web site) "Let's just see how much of this can be put together, how much Humpty Dumpty can be fixed, in the next month."

Well, hmmm.  Mmmaybe it WAS so bad, after all?  Even my Magic 8-Ball replied "It is decidedly so".  

I suspect Senator Baucus' deteriorating confidence in the success of Obamacare may have been a factor in his decision to retire from the Senate at the end of his term in 2014.  I also wonder if Senator Baucus' public criticism of Obamacare, especially his use of the descriptions "train wreck" and "Humpty-Dumpty," was a factor in prompting Mr. Obama to name him an Ambassador in 2014 and get him out of the country.  China, to be exact.

I think questions like these also help explain why history can be fun.
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