Tom Kludt – October 24, 2013, 6:49 AM EDT2800
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) contended Thursday that Republicans deserve some of the blame for the Affordable Care Act's bumpy rollout.
The former Democratic National Committee chair and 2004 presidential aspirant told the panel on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Republicans "delayed" the law considerably, which he said has contributed to the problematic launch. Dean also said that the 36 states that did not set up their own health exchanges should have been divied up into four or five different regions, to avoid relying on one single source.
"I think it's a problem, I think the fundamental mistake that was made — well, first of all, in fairness you gotta blame the Republicans for some of this because they delayed everything they possibly could, threw as many monkey wrenches into the process as they could, and there's some success here," Dean said.
"But the truth is, what the Obama administration should have done is divide the 36 states that are on the federal exchange up into four or five regions, do it the way the government does health care. And then put each of these regions out to bid, so you don't have one single contractor who, if they screw up, screws up the whole system, which is what's happened."
He added that the Obama administration was forced to set up a single federal marketplace "because the Republican governors refused to accept exchanges.
"The states with exchanges are doing pretty well," he said. "There's some glitches. They're not big. A lot of people are gonna be able to get their insurance in the 14 states that have their own exchanges."
Co-host Willie Geist asked Dean if he was really blaming the GOP for the glitches that have troubled the federal exchange website, HealthCare.gov.
"Well, not directly, but they did slow the process down considerably and that time does make a difference in the website," Dean said. "I think the fundamental flaw was not having multiple districts and multiple bidders and multiple contractors working on this because then what you could have done if one contractor screwed up, as this one clearly has, you could actually just use a different exchange in a different region."