Politics: CBS: White House ignored adviser's 2010 warning it was 'losing control of ObamaCare'

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday November 4th, 2013

Dan Calabrese

"I do not believe the relevant members of the administration understand the president's vision or have the capability to carry it out."

As much as we carp on the mainstream media for dereliction of its duty - richly deserved almost without exception - we have to give credit to CBS News for the excellent and determined reporting it's doing now on the problems with ObamaCare. I know, they should have paid more attention over the past three years. But be that as it may, no one is doing better work at the moment of exposing what is wrong with ObamaCare than CBS.

And what they reveal today is absolutely devastating. The White House was told three years ago exactly what was going to happen, and whether through mypioa or simply the lack of any competence in leadership, it failed to take any action to stop it:

Three years ago, a trusted Obama health care adviser warned the White House it was losing control of Obamacare. A memo obtained by CBS News said strong leadership was missing and the law's successful implementation was in jeopardy. The warnings were specific and dire -- and ignored.

David Cutler, who worked on the Obama 2008 campaign and was a valued outside health care consultant wrote this blunt memo to top White House economic adviser Larry Summers in May 2010: "I do not believe the relevant members of the administration understand the president's vision or have the capability to carry it out."

Cutler wrote no one was in charge who had any experience in complex business start-ups. He also worried basic regulations, technology and policy coordination would fail.

"You need to have people who have understanding of the political process, people who understand how to work within an administration and people who understand how to start and build a business, and unfortunately, they just didn't get all of those people together," Cutler said.

The White House dismissed these and other warnings. It relied on appointed bureaucrats and senior White House health care advisers. Fearful of constant attacks from congressional Republicans, the White House became secretive about the law's complexity and regulatory reach.

Cutler is not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. He is a liberal who believed in the ObamaCare model, but also has enough knowledge of how systems operate to know that it had no chance without effective leadership and implementation - which he could see was not present. And when he tried to warn the White House, he was utterly ignored.

This really shows the problem with ambitious visions to use the power of big government to better society. Even if you think it sounds good in theory, the actual implementation almost never works as planned because it's always trusted to people who understand politics but don't understand what it takes to operate efficiently and produce results.

Most damning of all, it was politics that prevented the White House from doing things right. It wouldn't come clean about the problems it was having because it couldn't stand the thought of Republican criticism. So instead, it went full speed down a road that was leading to nothing but disaster, even though one of its own most trusted and capable health care advisers was pleading with administration officials to correct their errors.

Liberals think big government can make society better because of the power it wields. But the people in big government are almost always more concerned with politics than they are with doing things right, and we see here, the two are at odds with each other. Let that conflict play out, ignore the warnings, and what do you end up with? The ObamaCare disaster that many of us saw coming all along.

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