“These people don’t understand what the government is trying to do for them,” said then-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Dan Rostenkowski in August 1989, after senior citizens angry over a federal health-care law booed him and chased him down a Chicago street. That law was repealed a few months later by a Democratic Congress and a Republican president who had supported it just the year before.
Everything old is new again. We are starting to hear in D.C. that today’s unpopular health-care law might be in real trouble, spelled with a capital T, as The Music Man would put it.
Noted liberal writer John Judis wrote a lengthy story in this week’s New Republic entitled “Think ObamaCare Can’t Be Repealed? It Happened Once in Australia.” By suddenly announcing last week yet another jerry-rigged delay in Obamacare’s implementation, the White House sent another signal to Congress that it expects the law to be a controversial issue in the 2014 elections, causing more anxiety for Democrats in Congress who already don’t trust the White House’s handling of the law.