Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he shares colleagues’ concerns that the Affordable Care Act could become a “train wreck” if it’s not implemented properly. Reid warned that people will not be able to choose health insurance plans on government health exchanges if federal authorities lack the resources to set them up and educate the public.
“Max said unless we implement this properly it’s going to be a train wreck and I agree with him,” Reid said, echoing a warning delivered last month by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
Reid warned the federal government is not spending enough money to implement the law because of Republican opposition to ObamaCare. “Here’s what we have now, we have the menu but we don’t have any way to get to the menu,” Reid said.
“The president is taking money, I wish we had the money just to do this on its own but he’s agreed, he’s determined he’s going to take money from some of the other things that he feels are less important in the healthcare bill and put it on letting you and others know what’s in the bill,” Reid told a caller to the show.
“I believe that a country of our size, the only superpower left in the world — it’s not right that we have 50-60 million people … with no health insurance,” he said. “We have to have a program where health insurance shouldn’t go to people who are rich, people who are upper-middle class. I believe the middle class and people below the middle class deserve to go to the hospital when they’re sick.”
“Of course I read it. I didn’t sit down on a Friday evening and read it. This legislation was drafted over a period of months and months,” he said. “I can pass a test on it, I knew the law pretty well.”
Baucus sounded an alarm about the implementation of the healthcare law last week. "I just see a huge train wreck coming down," he told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing. "You and I have discussed this many times, and I don't see any results yet."
[Reid] conceded Wednesday that the executive branch has grabbed too much power in Washington and suggested a requirement that all laws be allowed to expire after 10 years to give Congress an opportunity to reevaluate them. “One of the things I pushed for many years is laws should sunset after ten years, that the only way — that in fact I introduced legislation, after ten years you would have to reauthorize the legislation — we haven’t done that and think that’s something we should consider,” he said.
“The White House over the last 30 years, maybe more, has been taking away too much power from the legislative branch,” he said. “I’d be happy to talk about earmarks, which is one example — this is only a power-grab by the White House.”