Influential Democrats who have strongly defended Obama-Care for years are now publicly questioning whether the law was worth the political fallout.
Passage of the Affordable Care Act marked the start of a political unraveling for the Democratic Party, which lost huge majorities in Congress and control of a majority of state governorships in the last four and a half years.
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, said last week that ObamaCare was not worth the political cost. And he’s not alone.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, told The Hill that Democrats should have enacted a single-payer healthcare system or a public option. In retrospect, Harkin said, Democrats should have not passed the bill they did. While he says the ACA enacted some good reforms, he bemoans its daunting complexity.
Schumer’s and Harkin’s recent remarks are quite different than in prior years. After the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare’s individual mandate, Harkin hailed the ruling as “great news for America’s families, businesses and our economy. The Affordable Care Act moves us forward where every person has affordable, quality healthcare in America.”
Schumer, meanwhile, in 2010 said, “I predict … by November those who voted for healthcare will find it an asset; those who voted against it will find it a liability.”