Nov
03
2013

Cassandra #Obamacare Watch: David Cutler warned them all in May, 2010.

I have a fondness for CYA letters, at least when their existence embarrasses Democrats. Byron York speaks here of a fun example of the genre:

[A] memo revealed in a new Washington Post examination of the rollout shows the administration was already on a disastrous path in May 2010, just two months after Obamacare was signed into law — and six months before Republicans won control of the House and more Senate seats in the November 2010 elections. At the time the memo was written, Democrats still had the huge majorities in the House and Senate with which they had passed Obamacare on party-line votes.

In the memo, dated May 11, 2010 and sent to top administration economic official Larry Summers, Harvard professor and health care expert David Cutler, a supporter of the administration’s efforts, wrote that “the early implementation efforts are far short of what it will take to implement reform successfully.” Cutler continued: “For health reform to be successful, the relevant people need a vision about health system transformation and the managerial ability to carry out that vision. The President has sketched out such a vision. However, I do not believe the relevant members of the Administration understand the President’s vision or have the capability to carry it out.”

Memo at the link, and it’s entertaining, in its way: Dr. Cutler was apparently passed over for a job in the new administration (too Clintonian, one supposes), and a certain amount of aggravation about that perhaps shows in the memo.  Certainly Cutler’s worry that the entire Obamacare debacle had been handed off to enthusiastic amateurs on a rushed, politically-motivated schedule is crystal clear on every page.

The real question is: if David Cutler called it in 2010 that the program was going to collapse under the weight of too-onerous political necessities, then why is David Cutler not working to help fix the problem now? – Because that’s how they do it in the movies, and God knows that Barack Obama and his merry band of rodeo clowns heavily rely on the conventions of that genre in order to inform their basic policy choices.

3 Comments

  • jetty says:

    “…then why is David Cutler not working to help fix the problem now?”
    .
    Because maybe ObamaCare isn’t broken?

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Trust me: it’s broken. The path from here to single-payer would not involve popular culture laughing at Obamacare’s incompetence; that it has indicates that things have gone horribly, terribly wrong. 🙂

  • lineholder says:

    I’m going to disagree with Cutler. Obama had the people in there that he wanted working on this. Well, if you’re used to doing things the “Chicago Way”, you pick people who can pull that “management style” off effectively and still leave room for plausible deniability in any misuse or abuse of power, right?

    ‘Nuff said, then.

    Come to think of it, probably why they don’t have Cutler in there now.

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