Kuttner: Obamacare a Complete Mess; President Lost Control of the Narrative and the Politics

The latest liberal to lament Obama’s downward spiral is Robert Kuttner, founder of the liberal The American Prospect magazine. Kuttner says that Obamacare is a “colossal mess,” was an “accident waiting to happen,” and that the President has lost both the “narrative” and the politics of the situation.

Kuttner, of course, was an advocate of single payer and was unhappy that Obamacare didn’t go for the elimination of private healthcare at the outset. And in his newest op ed, Kuttner reiterated his position that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was bad law in the first place.

“The Affordable Care Act,” he wrote at Huffington Post on November 17, “as a government mandate for people to purchase private insurance with an array of possible subsidies, had too many moving parts. It was an accident waiting to happen.”

With Obamacare, Kuttner said, “we got a program that was poorly understood by the public because it was almost impossible to explain and even harder to execute.”

This is all in keeping with what he held in 2009 when he said that Obamacare was “dubious legislation” that left the “two worst aspects of the system intact.” In 2009 Kuttner felt that leaving insurance in the hands of employers and allowing private insurers to remain in existence was a mistake.

In this month’s piece, the magazine founder went on to note that the “bungled roll out of Obamacare” has given the Republicans a new lease on life just when they were on their last legs.

But the mechanics of the law isn’t the biggest problem, Kuttner said. There is also a question about Obama’s “character.”

“The president has lost control of both the narrative and the politics. The Republicans, who were unable to destroy Obamacare by holding the budget hostage, are now enjoying watching it fall of its own weight. The Democrats are divided into one camp uneasily standing by their president and another wanting to put distance between themselves and this mess.”

“The character of the legislation is only half the story,” Kuttner said dourly. “The other half is the character of the president.”

This is a stark assessment, one that loads the bulk of the blame right onto Obama’s shoulders.

“So the debacle reflects both flawed legislation and flawed leadership,” Kuttner continued. “At the rate things are going, the law may never take full effect. If the bungled roll out costs Democrats control of Congress, repeal will be the Republicans’ top priority.”

This all means that Republicans could find a popular rallying point to surge back into power putting everything Obama and his far left followers have put into place since Obama’s elevation to the White House.

If the GOP is able to overcome its own “schisms,” Kuttner says, this will essentially be Obama’s fault. The GOP “could hardly have scripted things better,” he wrote.

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