It seems that recently I have heard story after story about the failures of the website allowing people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. We have watched as the GOP has indicated that these failures of the website are an indication of failure of the Act itself, and that the Obama Administration is to blame. We have watched as there have been calls for Secretary Sebelius to resign, knowing that should she resign, the Administration would have a tough time getting her replacement (whoever that would be) confirmed.
Yes, we have heard a lot of questions asking who in the Administration is to be blamed for the problems of the website. And the GOP even held a finger pointing hearing to highlight these failures.
But what I have not heard is anyone in the media asking what role has the GOP played in these failures. That is--until I read something tonight.
The CNN website has an opinion piece by Aaron E. Carroll, Professor of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine which raises some good points about the responsibility of the GOP in all this.
Republicans refused to appropriate money needed to implement Obamacare. When Sebelius tried to shift money from other areas to help do what needed to be done, she was attacked by Senate Republicans. At every step, Republicans fought measures to get money to put towards implementation.
. . .
Federal legislators aren't the only ones to blame. Let's remember that original versions of the bill called for one big national exchange. This would have been much easier to implement. But conservatives declared that insurance should be left to the states and kept out of the hands of the federal government. So as a compromise (yes, those did occur), exchanges were made state-based instead of national.
As a precaution, the law stipulated that if states failed to do their duty and enact exchanges, the federal government would step in and pick up the slack. This was to prevent obstructionism from killing the law. Surprisingly, it was many of the same conservative states that demanded local control that refused to implement state-based exchanges, leaving the federal government to do it for them.
That made implementation much harder.
The GOP has tried to kill the Affordable Care Act repeatedly. And since they failed in their efforts to kill it when Mitt Romney lost and the Supreme Court upheld the law, they have pursued a Plan B of causing the Affordable Care Act to have so many problems that the American people would agree that it wasn't working and demand its repeal.
It seems that because of the problems with the website, the Administration has been on the defensive. I wish they would instead go on the offense, and inform the American people that while they take responsibility for some of the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the GOP should share in the blame. And that maybe if Congress has provided the resources necessary--resources that were requested by the Administration--we wouldn't be having these problems.