By Sam Baker - 04/18/13 09:07 PM EDT
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) was not impressed with Sen. Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) criticism of how the Obama administration has implemented its signature healthcare law.
If it's a train wreck, Pompeo said, Baucus has no one to blame but himself.
"No one in the country bears more responsibility for the complexity of this law than you," Pompeo wrote in a letter to Baucus on Thursday.
Baucus, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act. Most of its major provisions were crafted in his committee, and the Finance draft was consistently treated as the primary bill even as other Senate and House committees worked on their own proposals.
"You drafted it, you twisted arms to get it passed, and, until now, you have lauded it as a model for all the world," Pompeo wrote to Baucus. "Your attempts to pass the buck to President Obama’s team will not work, nor will they absolve you of responsibility for the harm that you have brought via this law."
Baucus has a competitive reelection fight coming up next year — just months after the biggest pieces of ObamaCare are set to take effect. Republicans have already made clear that they plan to target Baucus over his role in getting the healthcare law passed, and problems with the implementation could make the GOP's job easier.
"Make no mistake. Unless you act before it’s too late, the American people are going to hold you personally responsible for the failings of this law that negatively impact their jobs, their health, and their families," Pompeo wrote.