House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, did not think that much of Congressman Barney Frank’s remarks to New York Magazine, where the retiring Massachusetts Democrat was critical of the timing of the health care legislation passage.
“When you try to extend health care to people who don’t have it, people who have it and are on the whole satisfied with it get nervous,” Rep. Frank said.
“I think we paid a terrible price for health care. I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after Scott Brown won, I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform but certainly not health care,”
Congressman Hoyer responded to the comments on Tuesday saying, “Barney’s speculating of what would not have happened and it did not happen, so we are where we are.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) grabbed Mr. Frank’s comments and blasted them out to a number of Democratic held districts with the statement: “Even Barney Frank admits that ObamaCare has been a disaster.”
Talking Points Memo reported Mr. Frank’s response to the NRCC:
“No, I have no issue with the subject matter or the bill itself,” Frank said. “I was just commenting on the politics. And I was saying it was a mistake to have done it first.” He was arguing that Democrats should have prioritized financial reform, Frank insisted — which was more popular, and for which which Frank was the point person — before moving on to health care.