Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster owe New Hampshire an explanation. They backed the disaster that is Obamacare from the very beginning. Last week, with the law falling to pieces, they reiterated their strong support. The Titanic is sinking and they are praising its craftsmanship.
Can they really believe the lame defenses they are giving? Can they really expect the public to believe them?
On Thursday, after President Obama decreed that insurers would not be held to the law's coverage mandates, Kuster and Shea-Porter issued statements in response. Kuster's was emailed at 2:02 p.m. In it, she said she still supported the law because "we cannot go back to the days when insurance companies were free to deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions or drop people from their plans just because they get sick. I will continue to work with anybody who is serious about making this law work and ensuring that Granite Staters have access to the quality, affordable care they deserve."
Shea-Porter's statement was issued exactly 10 minutes after Kuster's. In it, Shea-Porter said, "we cannot go back to the days when health insurance companies could deny men and women coverage due to a preexisting condition, or cancel a person's policy when they need it most. I'll continue working to increase insurance options so everyone in New Hampshire has access to quality, affordable healthcare."
Almost identical statements, issued minutes apart. Do they think we are not paying attention? Do they think they can, even now, just spout White-House approved talking points and fool the people into thinking they are representing us?
Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster are representing the Democratic Party, not the people of New Hampshire. Their statements on Obamacare always have reflected party-approved talking points.
Now they follow the White House's lead in pretending that the pain inflicted upon America by this law comes from minor flaws. It does not.
The insurance policy cancellations were intentional, not accidental. The whole point of Obamacare was to move people off of their existing plans and into government-approved coverage, then eventually onto government-provided coverage. This is why the law did not take effect until after the 2012 presidential election. Its intended effects were to be hidden until after Obama won a second term.
But the effects were no surprise. Numerous critics, including this newspaper, predicted that the law would throw people off of their insurance plans. In 2010, Senate Republicans proposed legislation to prevent that from happening. Every Senate Democrat, including Jeanne Shaheen, voted against it. Last week Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster rushed to back a bill that does belatedly what the 2010 proposal would have done had Democrats not united to kill it.
Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster cannot avoid hard questions about their support for the law by voting for this fix or issuing more ghost-written talking points. Either they didn't know this would happen, in which case they supported out of blind partisan loyalty a law they did not understand, or they knew it would happen and did not tell the people. New Hampshire is being represented in Washington by three people whose support for one of the most important laws of our time was rooted in either ignorance or malice. How comforting.