Speaking in Boston, the home of RomneyCare, President Obama announced that his health insurance program is economically sound. He invoked RomneyCare as evidence. “Massachusetts has shown the model works.” But he somehow failed to mention Romney. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he gave full credit to Romney, thereby silencing his opponent, who could not easily attack ObamaCare.
Obama understood real responsibility in 2012. He made Romney responsible for ObamaCare, which cost Romney votes. Romney was responsible, and Obama reminded the voters of this fact. There were negative sanctions for Romney.
In the same Boston speech, Obama took full responsibility for the hapless www.Healthcare.gov website. He said this: “So there’s no excuse for it. And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day.” Got that? Full responsibility. This sounded impressive.
I ask: What are the negative sanctions? The voters can change their minds about him. But who will bear the brunt of these sanctions? Democrats who will be running for office in 2014. President Obama will have a rocky second half of his second term. But the voters cannot touch him directly.
Far-Left Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman, who has served West Los Angeles for almost 40 years, said this. “The early glitches in this rollout will soon be forgotten.” He is correct. The early glitches will be forgotten. The later glitches will not be.
On the same day that Obama Spoke in Boston, HHS director Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee this: “Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible.” Indeed, she is. But Congress cannot do anything to her. Only President Obama can. He hired her. Only he can fire her.
But if he fires her, he will be blaming her for what he says is his responsibility. That would mean that he was spouting nonsense when he told the listeners in Boston that he is fully responsible. He would be saying, loud and clear: “She did it. She’s gone. But I’m still here.” If she resigns “voluntarily,” she will make him look responsible for her departure. That would make his full responsibility statement look fake. He will have to let her know soon that she will not be fired, that he backs her. She now holds the hammer.
So, her statement was fake, too. Without facing the threat of negative sanctions, a person is not responsible politically.
I ask: Who will take responsibility if U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman declares in February that federal subsidies for policies purchased through the federal government are not authorized by ObamaCare? Millions of people will have lost their insurance by then, but premiums on OmamaCare-compliant policies will be twice as high . . . or more . . . without the subsidies.
The case will be appealed by the government to the Supreme Court. The buck stops there . . . if the Court decides to hear the case. What if Chief Justice Roberts switches sides, and concludes that the federal subsidies are null and void. Then his tax for not buying policies will still be in force, but not the subsidies.
This is political theater at its best. This is the federal government in full view: a gigantic bully, but really, truly stupid.