Enough with the Liberal Critics of Obamacare Rollout

Oh my God. It is so hard to log on and, when you do, you can’t get anywhere.

Clearly, Obamacare is a disaster.

I blame two things for that. One is computers which although a huge benefit to humanity are a royal pain in the butt. I mean who could have imagined a system that is continuously subjected to random attacks from idiots who devote their lives to creating “viruses” that we spend billions of dollars to guard against and which serve no purpose. A rare good day is one without any “computer problems.”

Progressives need to be defending the law and providing the assurance that it will work despite the best efforts of reactionaries to destroy it.

And then, infinitely more significant, there is that great collection of obstructionism and spinelessness: Congress. The legislation creating Obamacare never for a moment was a straightforward piece of legislation designed to solve a massive problem. No, unlike, say the legislation creating Social Security, Obamacare was created by legislation in which special interests—starting with the insurance and hospital industries and ending with religious groups who demanded that a U.S. government program created in 2010 comport with medieval teachings on abortion.

In between, hundreds of other special interests (represented by Members of Congress they provide with campaign funds) weighed in to change the legislation not in ways to make it serve Americans more efficiently but to please donors.

Then, of course, were the right-wing Republicans whose only goal was (and is) to destroy the whole idea of health insurance for all and (often joined by “moderate Democrats’) were granted one cumbrous modification after another in order to win their votes for legislation they opposed in the end anyway. Then, following enactment, right-wing opponents in various states used their power (by way of Republican governors and legislators) to muck up the system by refusing to set up the insurance exchanges and/or rejecting the federal funds offered to the states for Medicaid expansion. Crazily, it is the states with the highest percentage of working poor (mostly in the south) where Republicans are blocking strings-free federal assistance in the hopes that the donut hole they create will turn millions of people Obamacare is designed to help into disappointed opponents of the whole program.

And now, not even a month into the new program, screaming that the online registration system is slow or broken fills the land.

Give me a break.

In a few weeks or maybe months, it will work. Or maybe it won’t because the same people who hate the idea of Obamacare and did everything to thwart it will do everything they can to make sure it fails.

Yet some progressives (ever eager to agree with the right on something, anything) are joining the Republicans in crying that Obamacare is broken. How ridiculous can you get? And how can anyone with the interests of the American people at heart team up with people who hate universal health care so much that they shut the government down in order to block it, who threatened to topple the world economy to make sure it isn’t implemented.

Progressives need to be defending the law and providing the assurance that it will work despite the best efforts of reactionaries to destroy it. They need to stop pouring fuel on the fire, helping Ted Cruz and Eric Cantor snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. What kind of progressive, what kind of person who actually cares about insuring the uninsured, wants to be cited by right-wingers as evidence that even liberals realize that Obamacare doesn’t work?

America has been held hostage by the far right since the GOP took the House in 2010, and almost literally over the past month. It is understandable that some progressives would develop the Stockholm Syndrome, i.e, identifying with the hostage takers. I only ask that they get over it fast.


M.J. Rosenberg is a Special Correspondent for The Washington Spectator. He was most recently a Foreign Policy fellow at Media Matters For America. Previously, he spent 15 years as a Senate and House aide. Early in his career he was editor of AIPAC’s newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. Follow him @MJayRosenberg.