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Democrats voice frustration on Obamacare in meeting with WH officials

Democrats voice frustration on Obamacare in meeting with WH officials

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and various senior officials got an earful in a meeting today from Senate Democrats frustrated over the troubled rollout of Obamacare.  The meeting also included CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Jeffrey Zients, who was appointed to oversee HealthCare.gov fixes.

While McDonough tried to reassure lawmakers that he’s taken charge of things and some Democrats tried to view things positively, there was clearly still concern.

From The Hill, ‘Agitated’ Dems vent on O-Care:

Democratic senators facing reelection in 2014 were some of the most vocal critics.

One lawmaker described Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as visibly “agitated.”

Shaheen demanded to know why the rollout of HealthCare.gov had become so riddled with problems.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who has spent more of his career in the private sector than in government, also weighed in forcefully, according to the source.

“I am not happy with the website. That is a pretty common thought that we all feel,” Warner later told reporters.

“I think we ought to give them the time to make the improvements. But we need to see the improvements. We need to make this a much easier, consumer-friendly process,” he added.

Some lawmakers complained the administration has not done a good job of communicating what it’s doing to overhaul HealthCare.gov.

“[People] are unhappy. We want to see improvements. They’ve got to let people know what they’re doing, as they’re doing it,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

As the Huffington Post recently reported, many Senate Democrats are also worried about a 2014 deadline that could potentially have an impact only weeks before their November elections.

Senate Democrats facing reelection next year aren’t just fretting about a balky website and President Barack Obama’s misleading campaign statements on health care. Now they’ve begun worrying about another deadline a year away.

According to an Affordable Care Act timetable established by administration officials, early next October insurance companies will announce their new menu of health care plans for the ACA marketplaces — plans that may be more varied and numerous than those offered this year, but that almost certainly will come with higher prices.

The likely price hikes will hit the individual and small-business insurance markets only weeks before Election Day on Nov. 4, 2014.

“What genius came up with that timetable?” asked one key Democrat, who declined to be quoted by name because he is involved in private White House talks.

Some Democrats had already supported a proposal to extend the enrollment period, while Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has also joined with Republicans on calling for a delay of the individual mandate.

While all of this sentiment of course is at the height of the website rollout problems, it remains to be seen how things play out into next year.

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Comments

Democrats voice frustration on Obamacare…

Well, if by “frustration” you mean primal, screaming-Mimi PANIC.

Then, yeah.

Landreau, fer instance, was one of those caught on tape making the “promise” about keeping your plan.

The website is the least of their problems.

Remember: The Dems as true believers thought Obamacare would be the salvation of their ideology instead of exposing it as a fool’s dream.

Shaheen [as a proxy for all power-lusting Democrats] demanded to know why the rollout of HealthCare.gov had become so riddled with problems.

Because all you Democrats enacted, in the most devious and underhanded manner, a terrible, terrible law. The aim of this law was to capture from the people the remaining vestiges of personal freedom, an outrageous betrayal of their oaths of office, but they couldn’t even do it clearly.

Boehner, rub their noses in it. Over and over and over and over, . . .

    Boenher? He will help obama maneuver out of this mess.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Frank Scarn. | October 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    It’s also a device for voter fraud.

      Juba Doobai! | October 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      It’s also a device for voter fraud.

      I fear that more then anything, every time I see their arrogance I worry. Why are they so confidant?

      You say it is a device for voter fraud, how does that work? Is there I way I can do something right here in my voting district to prevent it or slow it down? Democrats have stolen the voice of the people of MN through election fraud.

We are spending HOW MUCH to cover insurance premiums for 35 million people out of the 55 million uninsured?

I think the bigger problem for the Dems will be that the same sticker shock experienced by individual purchasers this year will be experienced by employers and their employees next fall. LI mentioned it earlier today, but there will probably be 100 million people or more affected by that, right around the time of the election.

The Obamacare issue won’t go away all year, with the technical problems (which will not be fully settled by December, no matter what they say), the high prices, the canceled plans (I was told mine MIGHT be canceled in July), the security lapses, and the significant growth of medicaid rolls. If the GOP can run decent campaigns, it could be the jackpot for them. Nevertheless, I still wish our country could just wake up and realize this was just a bad nightmare.

PersonFromPorlock | October 31, 2013 at 7:26 pm

If the Republicans aren’t telling the Democrats “Oh, it’s settled law! We could never change that!” then they have no souls.

They probably don’t, dammit.

Henry Hawkins | October 31, 2013 at 7:35 pm

With the Obamacare fiasco and more to come, it is tempting to think 2014’s in the bag, how could the GOP lose? But that was the thinking going in 2012 with Obama’s dismal record on virtually everything he touched.

If the GOP is going to blow this, they need to get busy now. One good way would be to start fights between wings of the GOP. Another would be to threaten to primary their own party members, not for being insufficiently conservative, but for being insufficiently liberal. That’ll turn off their own party members in huge numbers. Lots of great new nasty GOP-against-GOP campaign ads would save the Dems a lot of research and studio money. They’ll also need to identify the top three issues to traditional GOP voters and make sure not to fight for any of them, in fact, work against them if possible, like signing up for an Amnesty-Lite Bill or agree to fund another building of Obamacare. Oh, and ease up on these sequester cuts. How’s a GOP rep supposed to do pork politics, huh? Now get busy, GOP – if you aren’t careful you’ll win the Senate majority and own both houses. Then what? Yikes! Responsibility!

I’m sure they did voice their frustrations at Obamacare rollout disaster but not because of constitutes having problems but they’re afraid of losing the senate. Meet the 13 up for reelection next November:
Mark Begich (Alaska)
Mark Pryor (Arkansas)
Mark Udall (Colorado)
Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)
Al Franken (Minnesota)
Max “Trainwreck” Baucus (Montana)
Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Tom Udall (New Mexico)
Kay Hagan (North Carolina)
Jeff Merkeley (Oregon)
Tim Johnson (South Dakota)
Mark Warner (Virginia)
Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)
Quite a few of them are in for a rude awaking when they lose all the perks and power they so dearly love. I hope they all lose along with some GOP senators in the primaries.

    styro1 in reply to styro1. | October 31, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I meant to write “Meet the 13 up for reelection next November that voted for Obamacare”.

    Styro1 nails it. They are not the least bit concerned about the functioning of the website or of the ACA itself; they are worried about getting re-elected and maintaining their place at the trough.
    If you read Thomas Sowell, he makes a great case for term limits. The members of congress are not public servants, but rather public leeches, sucking what they can out of the taxpayers to make themselves wealthy. The problem is that no politician will ever vote to reduce their own power, so any changes in the near (or distant) future is unlikely.

No delays in anything at all. If they want the Obamacare disaster to go away, let the Democrats, who ALL jammed it down our throats, call for the repeal of it.

“What genius came up with that timetable?” asked one key Democrat — who doesn’t mind hurting citizens but would rather that they stay in the dark until after the next election.

    rabidfox in reply to Radegunda. | November 1, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Originally everything would have been over by the time the 2014 elections came around. But they didn’t expect all these waivers. Or all this roll out would be such a mess. If it weren’t for the problems with the roll out, all these complaints about losing insurance and increased costs could have been swept under the rug.

      I’m willing to believe that perhaps the President didn’t know the details, but to have the HHS Secretary go to Capitol Hill with the same “Sargent Schultz defense” is beyond reason. “Whatever” .. OMG
      There was no requirement by the text of the ACA to rollout healthcare.gov on Oct 1st, but somebody let it go online anyway, knowing it was “unstable.” They did the POTUS no favor.
      Then Obama goes into this defense blaming Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation for coming up with the idea. Mitt Romney did it a hell of a lot better than Team Obama. It looked like the boy who claimed his dog ate his homework, not the “Leader of the Free World.”
      The defense of the “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” is just an exercise in pure unadulterated prevarication. Blaming the insurance companies. Cue the boy who claimed his dog ate his homework, yet again.
      The childish reaction of this President is beyond partisan politics. The man is a failure, a lair, incompetent, and shows no ability to actually lead. Perhaps Democrats will feel the shame that Republicans felt with Richard Nixon, but I doubt it.

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