Chuck Schumer via TPM is trying to be a last season quarterback on healthcare reform.
“Unfortunately, Democrats lost the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform,” the No. 3 Democratic senator, a leader on messaging and policy, told reporters in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
Schumer said Obamacare, enacted in March 2010, was a “good bill” that he’s “proud” to have voted for, but he said it “should have come later” after Democrats had adequately addressed the woes of the middle class.
“The plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed, but it was not the change we were hired to make,” he said. “Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs, not changes in health care….”
This argument only makes sense if the choices in the summer of 2009 was healthcare reform or another 2 trillion dollar demand side stimulus package that put massive amounts of money into the hands of people who would quickly spend it.
Is Schumer saying there were votes 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House for Stimulus Part 2 in July/August 2009? Anything less than that like tweaking the tax code or twerking off for corporate cash repatriations would be neither necessary nor sufficient.
If he is, then the trade-off is worth discussing as there would be a legitimate trade-off of getting the economy growing and presumably trying to save a Democatratic majority in 2010 by having 3.5% to 4% GDP growth and 250,000 jobs/month coming back after a helicopter drop and then attempting healthcare reform or doing healthcare reform and seeing a still lousy economy.
But that was not the reality I remember living in at the time. By mid-summer 2009, stimulus was seen as a one shot deal where most if not all of the Blue Dog caucus could be counted on to vote against anything that helped anyone making under $100,000 a year as that would be “fiscally repsonsible.” “Debt” was becoming the problem as our entire political structure decided to forget the last eighty years of useful zero-bound macro-economics.
So Chuck, shut the fuck up. Be proud that PPACA is working and it actually is structural reform that changes structures of cost instead of telling people poorer than you that they have had it too easy.