Skip to comments.Angry Dems bark at White House - “being dragged into this nonstop cycle”
Posted on 11/14/2013 2:17:29 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Furious congressional Democrats on Wednesday expressed exasperation with the White House for its bumbling implementation of ObamaCare.
The recent deluge of bad news on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has sparked widespread anxiety among Democrats, who are trying to win back the House and retain control of the Senate.
Democratic leaders are straining to keep their members from turning against elements of ObamaCare amid pressure from angry constituents. They have pressed the White House to propose solutions to help assuage the anxieties of lawmakers deluged by complaints over canceled insurance policies.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said President Obama should never have promised that people would be able to keep their health plans.
I listened to the president and I believed he was correct. I didnt realize there were all these codicils attached to it. I think he was done a disservice. Someone should have stopped him and said on his staff Theres this condition and that condition, Feinstein said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has planned a special meeting of the Senate Democratic Conference with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior administration officials for Thursday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Reid declined to answer questions about the healthcare laws faulty rollout until he had a chance to meet with White House advisers.
Obama called Reid on Tuesday evening to plot a strategy for healthcare and other issues as polls showed Democratic approval ratings sinking.
Were in the wild, wild west right now where everybody is working on their own ideas, a senior Democratic aide said. It would be better if were pulling in the same direction.
On Wednesday, House Democratic lawmakers vented their frustration over the administrations slow progress in fixing the laws problems during a meeting with David Simas, the White House deputy senior adviser for communications and strategy, and Mike Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform.
Democrats said they were concerned about being dragged into this nonstop cycle of bad news, according to another Democratic aide.
The senior officials left House lawmakers unsatisfied by providing few hints to what steps the administration may take to stem the public backlash.
Republicans could barely contain their glee watching Democrats scramble to escape fallout from a law that GOP leaders predicted would be a disaster.
Obviously, the panic has set in on the other side, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said. Its pretty clear now theres a stampede developing among House and Senate Democrats away from ObamaCare.
Pressure on Democrats increased further Wednesday afternoon when the administration released numbers showing that only 106,185 people had signed up for health plans through ObamaCare during the first month of the enrollment period.
A mere 26,794 people enrolled through HealthCare.gov, the website that became a joke on Saturday Night Live because of its many technical glitches.
Already five Senate Democrats have jumped onto a proposal sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would force insurance companies to allow people to keep health plans they like, even if they fail to meet ObamaCares strict standard.
The co-sponsors include Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), and Jeff Merkley (Ore.). Pryor, Hagan and Landrieu face tough elections next year.
In the House, two conservative Democrats, Reps. John Barrow (Ga.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.), have endorsed a Republican proposal that would allow insurance companies to continue offering plans that fall below the standards of the Affordable Care Act.
Hagan has seen her 15-point lead over North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) vanish over the last two months. A new survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, showed her up by only 2 points.
The rollout and early implementation is not going the way it should, and North Carolinians deserve better, Hagan said in a statement.
Close to a million people could lose their health insurance policies in California, and their complaints spurred Feinstein to sign onto Landrieus plan.
The key in the decision for me was California constituents, she said.
Unlike Landrieus legislation, the bill sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) would not place a mandate on the insurance industry.
Democratic leadership aides have warned those proposals could cause insurance premiums to swell in 2014 by keeping younger, healthier people out of ObamaCares insurance exchanges.
The White House has criticized Uptons legislation as a thinly veiled effort to gut ObamaCare, but it hasnt threatened a veto. Democratic leaders in the House have not indicated whether they will whip votes against it.
Just a month ago, House Democratic leaders pointing to the government shutdown were publicly getting more bullish about taking back the lower chamber.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday showed Democrats tied with Republicans in a generic congressional match-up, down from the 9-point lead Democrats held over the GOP on Oct. 1.
One House Democratic aide warned that if the administration doesnt provide a legislative fix by Friday, many members will go crazy. And unless it does, there could be a lot of defections to the Upton bill.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has a companion measure in the Senate. Every Republican in the upper chamber has backed it except for Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Mike Lee (Utah).
Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.), a Democrat up for reelection in 2014, on Wednesday unveiled the Continuous Coverage Act, which would allow consumers to keep their current health plans through the end of 2015.
Democratic leaders hope administration officials can help get their party back on the same page by laying out a blueprint to improve the laws implementation.
Republicans will not back Landrieus plan because they say it places an unconstitutional mandate on the insurance industry.
A senior Senate Republican aide said it could force some insurance companies out of business by requiring them to maintain unprofitable insurance plans for small groups of policyholders.
LOL...Feinstein says she had no clue, and even then, it's all the staff's fault.
The bill was so huge - it made my brain hurt - we just trusted the leadership and the president - Wahaaaaaaaa!
Dear Feinstein and congressional Democrats,
READ THE DAMN BILL BEFORE YOU VOTE ON IT! NEVER, EVER GIVE UP YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO REGIME TYRANNY.
Idiots. Didn’t know...you didn’t know because you chose to be an ignorant useful idiot, instead of doing your job to represent the people.
bullchit...they willing VOTED to put Americans further into despair, they knowingly carried on "the lie" riding the coattails into oblivion and their personal bank accounts.
Not a word about their constitutes that have to suffer through the Democrats insane Obamacare policy. They do not even concern themselves that they look like craven power hungry grifters.
He still has a high approval after lying. And he's not even done yet.
Of COURSE I didn't read it... NONE of us did ... we all knew it was a freedom grabber and an America destroyer and that's all that mattered ... but we never thought we'd lose our JOBS over it .. !?!.
The divide is growing daily and the GOP isn't doing anything, saying anything.
Boehner should be on National TV every day raising hell. He has a bully pulpit!
We don't have answers for the questions we're getting because we don't understand this law neither !
Our constituents are right and have a point ... this thing's a monstrosity and we need answers for them.
And don't tell us the usual "have a town hall" or something like that ... these people are outside with tar, feathers and rope.
It's all about Them!
The awfulness of having to listen to and deal with pi@@ed off voters who are CORRECTLY tying the lying to Them!
“Democrats said they were concerned about ‘being dragged into this nonstop cycle’ of bad news”
True, the news cycle hasn’t spun in a while. Either someone forgot to direct the MSM, or an “event” is behind schedule.
Be patient Dems - soon it’ll be “old news”. And if you don’t get handed a distraction, you and the Rinos can run out the clock by tinkering with ACA. The employee-based cancellations won’t happen for a year. Your seats are safe. /s
Bark? As in like a dog? Wonder if it was just a little “woof” or maybe like a whine?
Allowing some people to keep cheaper coverage through 2015 will only further stiff those who for whatever reason have to get new coverage before them, because not only will they be screwed with paying more in 2014, that difference will increase dramatically for 2015, when they are forced to carry even more of the weight of the bill for the sick-insured also in the exchange.
Agreed. This is a case where that spin less jelly fish Boehoer needs to dig through his storage bins, locate his spine and get the right message the Obamacare is the result of Democrat policies.
“.................. UPMC Health Plan, the insurance arm of hospital giant UPMC, said it enrolled fewer than 200 people to date.
Aetna Inc., which is selling health plans on the website in Western Pennsylvania under its HealthAmerica subsidiary, declined to say how many people it enrolled.
On a conference call with reporters, Sebelius would not provide information on ages of enrollees. Young people, who are typically less costly to insure because they tend to be healthier, may not sign up for coverage because it is likely that premiums will cost more than the penalty they face for not carrying coverage. If most people who buy insurance are older and sicker, insurers might raise premiums.
The ages of people who bought from Highmark so far are skewing older, Ash said, though she noted that enrollment volumes are still low, so demographics at this point may not provide a total picture.
She said a large portion of shoppers selected Highmark Community Plans, the least expensive plans for sale in the region. Those plans exclude UPMC hospitals and doctors as in-network providers.
Obamacare opponents have criticized the president for promising that people could keep existing health insurance even as cancellation notices hit people whose individual health insurance policies didn’t measure up to the law’s requirements.
In Pennsylvania, Highmark and other nonprofit Blue Cross companies sold tens of thousands of those plans to people with chronic illnesses who could not obtain coverage elsewhere.
Ash said Highmark isn’t tracking whether people whose plans were cancelled have purchased plans through the website.
They may enroll with us or with another carrier, so it’s difficult to determine exactly where each of those have gone in the system, she said.”
So, overturning Obamacare will require a veto override, which is hard to imagine.
What's left is a CYA vote.
I wonder if there will be defections to the GOP.