Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) thinks the president should seriously consider delaying the individual mandate tax on Americans who don’t purchase health insurance by March 31 -- that is, if Healthcare.gov isn’t up and functioning properly sometime in the next 30 days.
But wait a minute. Earlier in the week, he called Senator Marco Rubio’s bill to delay that specific provision “inappropriate.”
So what’s changed your mind, Senator?
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), in a new interview, compares President Obama's new health-care exchanges and the accompanying Web site to "Humpty Dumpty."
Baucus also said he's open to delaying the penalties for those who don't obtain insurance by the current March 31 deadline.
"Let's just see how much of this can be put together, how much Humpty Dumpty can be fixed, in the next month," Baucus told KYAA-AM. "And if it looks like Humpty Dumpty's not getting put back ... together, then maybe we should start thinking about delaying the penalties."
What’s more, earlier in the week Baucus said that Rubio’s bill was intentionally crafted to “disrupt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” Really? Rubio responded to this baseless charge in kind on the Senate floor (via WFB):
Rubio correctly notes that the idea existing laws cannot be changed or amended by members of Congress is specious. That’s what the legislative branch does, he told his Senate colleagues. “That’s what the legislative process is about,” he said.
As Guy noted earlier in the week, simply delaying the individual mandate without delaying other key provisions is wonderful politics for Republicans -- but a horrible idea. It would effectively dissuade young people from enrolling in the exchanges, thus incentivizing insurance providers to raise rates -- hastening the so-called “death spiral” that could very well bring down Obamacare and our economy along with it. Democrats, meanwhile, seem to finally be noticing that the Obamacare “train wreck” (a term, incidentally, Baucus himself coined) is a serious problem. Why do I know this? Because Baucus isn’t even running for re-election, and he’s already spooked -- as are some of his Democratic colleagues.