Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward likened Obamacare to “a car stuck in first gear” on Sunday, adding that Obamacare supporters he’s talked to believe it will be years before the law starts working.
Woodward appeared on a “Fox News Sunday” panel along with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and Fox News contributor Juan Williams. Host Chris Wallace asked Ingraham why the White House won’t provide hard numbers on how many people have paid for health insurance on the federal exchange or how many were previously uninsured.
“Look, if the facts were really good, I think [White House press secretary] Jay Carney would be crowing the fact that, ‘Wow, 42 percent of young people have now signed up, they’re paying their premiums, we’re on track,'” she noted. “‘We might be a little low but we’re strong, we’re vital, we’re moving forward.’ I think they would do that, right? I think it doesn’t make any sense for them not to tell us.”
Woodward, however, noted there may be more than just politics to the lack of information. “I think first of all, you have to find people who are supporters of Obamacare and ask them privately ‘What do you really think?'” he began. “And just yesterday I talked to a physician — very knowledgable, involved supporter of Obamacare — and I said ‘So what’s the bottom line?'”
“He said, ‘Obamacare is like a car stuck in first gear,'” Woodward continued. “I asked, ‘Well when’s it gonna get into second gear?’ And he said ‘The problem is that the transmission is in the shop for repairs.’ When does it get to second gear, and he said ‘Honestly, years!'”
“So it’s not just years in terms of it working,” he explained. “I think it somewhat may be years — certainly many months — away from measuring what these real numbers are. I mean the way that these numbers are thrown around, what credibility do they have on either side? I think zero.”
Wolfowitz noted the irony that Obamacare, designed to provide more people with health insurance, may in fact leave more Americans uninsured. “You cannot reform 17 percent of the economy with 900 pages that nobody’s bothered to read,” he declared.
True to form, Williams decried his fellow panelists’ complicity in the conspiracy against Obamacare. “I’m just stunned to hear all this,” he exclaimed, noting that when Romneycare rolled out in Massachusetts “no one was paying attention to these kinds of very small, minute numbers about how many have enrolled in this period, that period.”
“The reason for this is the intense opposition to Obamacare, uniform on the part of Republicans in the House and the Senate,” he continued. “And at this point, you have to say these folks are looking for a way to crater Obamacare. Because in eery other instance you’d just say — just as Bob Woodward just indicated — you give it a few years to say ‘Does this work or doesn’t it work?'”
“The problem for the Democrats is they have not been aggressive in saying this is a landmark achievement for the American people, and not being defensive!” he declared. “Because the critics are so persistent and intense!”
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