Tags: obama | katrina | obamacare | coverage

Ex-Democrat Aide: Healthcare Law Is Obama's Katrina

By Dan Weil   |   Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 12:19 PM

The flawed rollout of Obamacare is reminiscent of the George W. Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, says Brent Budowsky, a former top Democratic congressional aide.

The millions of Americans whose health insurance policies have been cancelled under Obamacare are "the equivalent of New Orleans residents who were stranded on their roofs after floods engulfed their homes during Hurricane Katrina," he writes in The Hill.

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"They comprise President Obama’s Healthcare Katrina. Obama has a moral and political duty to set this right."

Budowsky, who was legislative assistant to the late Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and legislative director to then-Democrat Deputy Chief House Whip Bill Alexander doesn't equate the Affordable Care Act itself with the government handling of the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast.

But, "I am suggesting there are direct analogies between mismanagement surrounding the establishment of the healthcare exchanges and mismanagement that surrounded Katrina," he says.

Budowsky also sees "direct analogies between damage done to those who lost their insurance because of the Affordable Care Act and damage done to New Orleans residents who lost their homes because of Katrina."

Obama repeatedly promised Americans they could keep their insurance policies and doctors under Obamacare, Budowsky notes.

"The president owes these Americans who lost their policies and family physicians a fix that will make his promises become true," Budowsky says.

"It will not be easy but it can be done. It must be done to restore public trust in his words and safeguard the legacy of his presidency."

Obama should cooperate with insurance companies and congressmen of both parties to let people keep their current insurance policies until they have adequate time to choose new ones, Budowsky says.

"Their enrollment date should be extended significantly," he writes.

"It would be absurd and unjust to force any American to pay a penalty because they lost a policy they were promised they could keep, and to force any American to pay higher premiums they were promised they would not be forced to pay."

If need be, the president and Congress should come up with a tax rebate or credit to compensate those who lost their old policies and now have to pay higher premiums, Budowsky says.

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