Schumer Says Democrats’ Push For ACA Was A Mistake

From NAHU Newswire

In remarks to the National Press Club Tuesday, Sen. Charles Schumer said that Democrats erred by pushing to pass the ACA in 2010, arguing that the time and legislative energy would have been better spent passing measures to buoy the economy. As the Christian Science Monitor  (11/25, Grier) reported, Republicans are “gleeful” about Schumer’s comments and are citing them “as yet more evidence that Obamacare shouldn’t have passed in the first place.” An editorial in the Wall Street Journal  (11/26, Subscription Publication), meanwhile, calls Schumer’s comments an indication that heretofore unrelenting liberal opposition to revisiting the healthcare debate is starting to waver.

McClatchy  (11/25, Lightman, Subscription Publication) notes that Schumer argued that Democrats “addressed the ‘wrong problem,’” when they focused on healthcare, saying, “We were in the middle of a recession, people were hurting and said, ‘What about me? I’m losing my job. It’s not healthcare that bothers me.’”

Likewise, the Daily Caller  (11/25, Hurtubise) reported that Schumer said Democrats “blew the opportunity the American people gave them” by electing the President and a Democratic Congress in 2008, adding, “We took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem.”

The Hill  (11/25, Bolton) called Schumer’s comments “a striking change of tone from what he said shortly after the passage of the healthcare law, when he predicted that ObamaCare would turn out to be a strong political issue for his party.”

Politico  (11/26, Everett) reported that Schumer joined “a list of prominent Democrats who’ve chastised their own party in recent days as they struggle to come to terms with a crushing defeat earlier this month.” The timing of his comments “particularly stung as the party prepares to wave goodbye to several more defeated Democrats who voted for the health care bill.”

The AP  (11/25, Babington), meanwhile, reports that in the wake of Democratic losses in the midterm elections, Schumer “is urging the party leftward,” arguing that “working Americans want a robust government that will promote education access, labor bargaining rights, progressive taxes and more.” The Gannett News Service  (11/25, Tumulty) reports that Schumer said that to “gain an advantage going into the 2016 presidential election,” Democrats must “learn from past mistakes” and “offer the middle-class an agenda ‘that will make their lifestyle more affordable.’”