It’s no secret that Tea Party Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act. The movement was born at least in part as a reaction to the health reform law, and they have long argued it will literally kill people.
The latest attack on the law compares it to a catastrophic event.
“We’re back at the same place we were before, which is that Obamacare’s unworkable,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp told reporters Wednesday, according to Mother Jones. “The president’s statements in support of [Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen] Sebelius seem awfully, eerily similar to George W. Bush saying [to then-FEMA director Mike Brown] ‘Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job’ during Katrina. And to say this is rollout is much different than Hurricane Katrina, they’re very similar.”
Similar to Hurricane Katrina? Maybe Huelskamp meant to say the rollout is akin to the “Bush response to Hurricane Katrina” rather than the storm itself, which took more than 1,800 lives, displaced millions and cost nearly $150 billion in damages.
The rollout of health insurance exchanges has not been perfect. The White House has acknowledged glitches along the way, but so far it has at worst wasted time for those trying to sign up, or perhaps detered them from signing up quickly.
“I am the first to acknowledge that the website that was supposed to do this all in a seamless way has had way more glitches than I think are acceptable and we’ve got people working around the clock to do that,” Obama said in an interview with Des Moines station KCCI. “We’ve seen some significant progress but until it’s 100% I’m not going to be satisfied.”
The rollout of the health insurance exchanges isn’t the only thing Republicans have tried to dub “Obama’s Katrina”; they tried to tack the title onto everything from the scandal over the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But in the future, it might be better to keep those comparisons to events that actually take lives, rather than saving them.