There’s more than just a failure to communicate when it comes to the approaching Obamacare “train wreck.”
Even though Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that he will not seek re-election, the debate over the implementation of Obamacare will continue. I say that to emphasize that this blog post is not about picking on the soon-to-be-retired chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee. It is about serious issues that need to be discussed.
Earlier this week on our statewide radio talk show, I featured portions of an interview I did with Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS). Rep. Pompeo took Baucus to task for his Obamacare “train wrecks” remark in a full letter to the Senator last week where he said, “you wrote this bill.” (Full audio interview below)
The response from Baucus in the days after the controversy was that the approaching “train wreck” was merely just a lack of informing folks about the implementation of the law, not the law itself.
Peter Suderman is a senior editor at Reason magazine. He says there are more than simple marketing problems with Obamacare:
It’s true that at the same hearing Sen. Baucus predicted that Obamacare would be a train wreck, he also criticized the administration for not doing enough to educate the public about the law, saying that “administration’s public information campaign on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act deserves a failing grade.”
But lack of marketing communication wasn’t his only criticism. And it wasn’t the criticism his statement to Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius led with. The senator’s first concern was that the exchanges would not be ready on time—because the administration had not gotten its act together.
Baucus is not merely concerned that the administration isn’t making enough effort to market the law. He’s openly worried that the law won’t work—that the administration is not doing an effective job of implementing the law and that the technical challenges involved in creating the exchanges are not being overcome, or at least not being overcome fast enough.
I also followed up with Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to get his thoughts on the argument that the Obama Administration just needs to get the word out about the law. Below is audio from an interview prior to Baucus announcing that he would not seek re-election.
Click to Listen