Obamacare Delay Similar To Previous Medicare Delay Under George Bush

Republicans are obsessed with Obamacare delays. Some of the delays have been helpful to allow for orderly transition to the new rules. The latest, allowing people to complete the process if they started an application for insurance before the deadline, seems like common sense and basic fairness (which might be why Republicans have such a problem with it). NBC News pointed out that George  W. Bush also had a similar delay with the Medicare D program:

As Republicans complain about the Obama administration’s latest deadline extension for Americans to purchase health insurance, Democrats are countering with this reminder: The Bush administration did something similar in 2006.

Back then, as it was implementing the Medicare prescription-drug benefit Bush had signed into law, the GOP presidential administration announced it was waiving penalties for low-income seniors and those with disabilities who signed up late.

As one Knight Ridder report put it at the time:

The move follows a recent administration decision to allow the same impoverished beneficiaries to sign up for Medicare drug coverage until Dec. 31.

“In other words, you can apply after May 15th without penalty. And that’s important for low-income seniors to understand,” President Bush told a group of older Americans in Sun City Center, Fla., on Tuesday.

There’s one key difference between Bush’s Medicare prescription-drug benefit and Obama’s health-care law: Democrats didn’t try to scuttle the Medicare law’s implementation (especially since some of them had voted for it), while the same isn’t exactly true of GOP actions regarding the health-care law.

But the 2006 story is a reminder that when it comes to the implementation of complex new laws, both Democratic and Republican administration have changed the rules to encourage enrollment.

Republicans who complain about delays in the Affordable Care Act under Obama had no problem with a comparable delay under George Bush, showing once again that their positions are motivated by opposition to Obama and not any higher principles.

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  1. 1
    SteveAR says:

    Republicans who complain about delays in the Affordable Care Act under Obama had no problem with a comparable delay under George Bush, showing once again that their positions are motivated by opposition to Obama and not any higher principles.

    I think the piece you linked to had this to say:

    There’s one key difference between Bush’s Medicare prescription-drug benefit and Obama’s health-care law: Democrats didn’t try to scuttle the Medicare law’s implementation (especially since some of them had voted for it), while the same isn’t exactly true of GOP actions regarding the health-care law.

    Actually, a lot of Democrats voted for that Medicare law (I believe it was roughly half the Democrats and roughly half of the Republicans in Congress at the time, enough for passage, voted for it).  So it was in their interest to not try to scuttle it, especially since it expanded government control of health care (which is why conservatives hate what Bush and the GOP did back then).
    It says something else too.  Democrats don’t care about holding the Executive Branch to the letter of the law when it’s a law they support, regardless of who is in office.  And while Republicans weren’t holding Bush to that standard 11 years ago, I don’t see it as a problem that they want to hold Obama to the law he wants to claim is his legacy (considering how bad Obamacare is, in every respect, Obama may want to rethink this), especially a rotten law no Republican was stupid enough to vote for.
     

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Steve,

    Your arguments on Democrats and the Executive Branch (like your incorrect assessment of the Affordable Care Act) doesn’t hold up at all when looking at the facts. Just 16 out of 203 House Democrats voted for Bush’s Medicare D program. The majority of Democrats opposed the program despite some conservative Democrats voting with Republicans. While opposed to the program, once passed Democrats respected the law and did not try to block it, and Democrats did not raise a bunch of inane objections over trivial matters such as the delay.

    If you want to look at abuse of Executive Power you seem to have forgotten about all of Bush’s signing statements in which he claimed a right to ignore the law, along with the Republican argument for the Unitary Executive theory which greatly expanded the power of the Executive Branch far beyond what is Constitutional.

    It is Republicans who have been inconsistent in supporting vast increases in Executive power when a Republican is in the White House while opposing trivial matters such as letting people in line complete the process to obtain health insurance as opposed to strictly imposing an arbitrary deadline.

    It is hardly anything to brag about that Republicans wanted to perpetuate a system in which people could have their health insurance cancelled when they became sick or lose their jobs. It also shows little respect for our democratic system of government when Republicans decided as a party to uniformly vote against any plan to fix the system because they didn’t want the opposing party to have a victory.

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