Big Freddy was folding his morning newspaper when I joined him for whatever would follow and I asked what was up.
“What’s going down is more like it,” he said.
“Obama facing reality with his `through my fault, threw my most grievous fault,’ mea culpa for mi-representing his health care bill?” I asked.
“A big time admission, and the bottom’s dropping out of his ratings,” Freddy said.
“But give him credit. Presidents don’t like to say they were wrong about anything, and he wasn’t just wrong. He had to want to believe what he was led to believe, but he’s not stupid about the consequence.”
“Well he was late in taking responsibility,” I said.
“It got to the point where he had no other choice,” Freddy said. “Harry Truman had it right. No matter what - the buck stops on the President’s desk. There has to be another story about what he was saying.’’
“But why would anyone involved in making something named Obamacare want to mislead him?” I asked.
“You have any idea how complicated this whole mess is?” Freddy asked. “What the impact of this is on insurance companies who have been getting ready for what was coming?”
“I haven’t a clue,” I said.
“You’re not alone,” Freddy said. “Neither does Congress. Especially those who pushed Obamacare for all it was worth without understanding the details. It’s supposed to be the historic centerpiece of his accomplishment as President.”
“Well it’s an apparent mess,” I said.
“No way it could be anything else,” Freddy said. “Too many hands in the pot. Too many players in the game. Not the least of them are insurance companies. They’ve been working away at the probability of legislation for three years. Now this.”
“You’re making it sound hopeless,” I said.
“Not hopeless, but a first class mess for Democrats. This is all on them, lock stock and barrel.”
“But not everywhere,” I said. “We have our own insurance program and it’s working pretty good.”
“We were ahead of the curve, and give credit to the bi-partisan support of both parties in the House and Senate that passed Romney’s bill. But it still needs work.
“There is, flat out, none of that going on in Washington, and it must be giving insurance companies fits,” Freddy said.
“There could be given Obama’s support for delay,” I said. “Insurance companies pay out a lot of money and make it by investing.”
“And not just them,” Freddy said. “Upsetting timetables up and down on this leaves everyone involved asking what’s next. One thing’s certain. House Democrats are bleeding over this and their party’s whip has its hands full trying to keep them in line.
“That’s not easy. All politics are eventually local, and it’s how this mess is playing back in their home licks that’s got Democrats worried and Republicans hopeful.
“One thing’s certain. We’re just a couple of months away from how this going to play next November,and it could be Democrats yelling fort Katy to bar the door.”
Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and a staff columnist.