Open Thread: Democrats Against Obamacare?

Even though it was their party who rammed Obamacare through Congress, a number of congressional Democrats are publicly airing their own misgivings about the medical regulation law.

Are such misgivings related somehow to the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court might overturn the law?

An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

“I think we would all have been better off — President Obama politically, Democrats in Congress politically, and the nation would have been better off — if we had dealt first with the financial system and the other related economic issues and then come back to healthcare,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who is retiring at the end of this Congress.

Miller, who voted for the law, said the administration wasted time and political capital on healthcare reform, resulting in lingering economic problems that will continue to plague Obama’s reelection chances in 2012.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) also criticized his party’s handling of the issue, and said he repeatedly called on his leaders to figure out how they were going to pay for the bill, and then figure out what they could afford.

Cardoza, who like Miller will retire at the end of the Congress, said he thought the bill should have been done “in digestible pieces that the American public could understand and that we could implement.”

The most recent wave of misgivings from Democrats began with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who told New York magazine that Democrats “paid a terrible price for healthcare.”

Frank said Obama had erred in pushing the legislation after GOP Sen. Scott Brown’s January 2010 victory in Massachusetts, which took away the Senate Democrats’ 60th vote.

Most of the second-guessing has come from retiring members such as Frank and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who this week predicted the law will be Obama’s “biggest downside” heading into the November elections. Such members can afford to be more candid in speaking their minds without offending their leadership, but are also likely to reflect the feelings of other lawmakers in the House and Senate.

The fact that so many retiring members are airing grievances with the law and the dirty way that it was passed in the middle of the night via all sorts of legislative chicanery is surely an indicator that many members running for reelection feel the same way.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013