On Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” on Tuesday night, network senior political analyst Brit Hume said that the goodwill President Barack Obama enjoyed after the 2012 election is fading, largely because of the implementation of his signature health-care reform law.
“The usual pattern with the new government-benefit program is [that] once people by the millions begin to use it, it is set in political concrete, [and becomes] far harder to undo than it was to pass,” Hume said. “But Obamacare may be different. Instead of coming together, the program seems to be coming apart.”
Hume went on to specifically describe some of the failures he sees in the sprawling program’s implementation.
“The administration was forced to grant more than 1,200 waivers to the requirements before it stopped publishing the count of those more than a year ago,” he said. “The administration recently acknowledged that many could see their health insurance premiums go up next year as a result of Obamacare, which was supposed to make health care cheaper.”
“About half the states have declined to set up the exchanges through which insurance is to be sold under the new law, which means Washington will have to do that job, though it is nowhere near ready,” Hume continued. “The program remains at least as unpopular with the public as [it did] the day it was passed. That, however, was not the case with Social Security and Medicare, which both passed with bipartisan majorities and were favored by the public from the start.”
Hume went on to discuss with host Bret Baier some of the other second-term problems Obama is facing:
BAIER: You know, with the treatment by most of the media of the Obama administration, it was thought that perhaps President Obama would be immune from second-term syndrome. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
HUME: That’s right, Bret. There really was a sense after the election that he was sort of politically bulletproof, and that the Republicans were in disarray and scattered, and that he could have his way. It’s not turning out that way. It’s not turning out that way. Look at this issue which continues to cause him troubles: Obamacare. Look at gun control in particular, which he made a very high priority and now it looks as if it’s possible nothing will pass, or almost nothing will pass — certainly nothing on the scale of he seemed to be talking about in the beginning.
Immigration reform is one where something may come out in the end. But that looks like an issue where he is basically been invited to kind of stay out of it and let Congress work his will. So, and of course there is the other factor in the second term, which is the world intrudes as the world will and has for so many presidents — North Korea being the most recent example. It appears that the laws of political gravity apply to Barack Obama after all.
BAIER: You know, on second terms, a lot of people often say, ‘How big is the window for this second term president to get something done?’ It seems to be shrinking.
HUME: Well, it does for him at the moment. I suppose that he hopes that he can make an against-the-grain, against-all-history showing with his party in the 2014 midterms, and then rally after that with a stronger numbers in Congress. But I think that’s a slender reed to hang your hopes on, because that hasn’t really often happened in the past and seems unlikely to now. So I think he’s got work to do.