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Opening Arguments

Obamacare unchained

Kathleen Sebelius: You know, the American people are a pretty stupid bunch.

Still, Sebelius didn’t dispute the point that many Americans don’t fully understand how health insurance and the Affordable Care Act work, including the trade-offs involved in expanding coverage.

“A lot of Americans have no idea what insurance is about,” she said. “I think the financial literacy of a lot of people, particularly people who did not have insurance coverage or whose employers chose their coverage and kind of present it to them, is very low — and that has been a sort of stunning revelation. It’s not because people hid it from folks. It’s because this is a complicated product.”

If you believe Jonathan Gruber (and why would we not?), the actual goal of Obamacare was to create something so impenetrable that no one could understand it, because to understand it is to reject it. Which we have, so I guess we're not that stoopid after all.

But don't take my word for it. Here is one of the bill's co-authors:

Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the coauthors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill.

The Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, laments the complexity of legislation the Senate passed five years ago.

And here's another well-known Democrat:

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat, slammed his party Tuesday for pursuing health-care reform in 2009 and 2010, arguing that Democrats hurt themselves politically by not focusing instead on policies aimed at helping a “broader swath” of middle-class Americans.

“After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus. But unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem – health-care reform.”

Yeah, well, thanks for nuthin', guys. Why do I think the real cause of your displeasure is not that you think Obamacare was the wrong idea but that you think it contributed to the loss of your Senate majority? You're like the kid with his hand in the cookie jar. When he says he's sorry, it's not for the stealing but for the fact that he got caught.