President Barack Obama wasn't getting universal praise from Democrats Thursday for his call for millions of canceled healthcare policies be restored. Liberal lawmakers and activists criticized him for not holding firm on enforcing the Affordable Care Act.
His decision to allow insurance companies essentially to ignore the law for a year and continue offering substandard coverage could end up costing him the support of the left, Politico reported
Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, said her group's members did not want Obama to bow to critics of the Affordable Care Act.
"They don't want to see this law eviscerated by death by a thousand cuts. They want to see the law strengthened, they want to see the website work, and have the law do all the good things it's already doing," she said, adding there is "deep concern" about the proposed changes.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, also said the answer is not to undo Obamacare, asking Politico, "Do we want to encourage policies that are totally inadequate? No we don't. We want to move toward a situation where everybody, regardless of income, of age has strong coverage."
"Am I in favor of policies which are inadequate? I am not," he said.
Liberal commentators, who have been highly supportive of the president and his signature healthcare law and often lash out at his critics, also weighed in. MSNBC host Ed Schultz tweeted, "Ed's advice to President @BarackObama: Next time "you give it to them!!"
The self-described Democratic blog Daily Kos
had started a petition calling on the president to blame insurance companies for the cancelations rather than apologize for people losing their current coverage.
"Some insurers are using confusion created by the new law to hoodwink their customers into enrolling in much more expensive plans," the petition reads. "The actions of some of these companies proves why we needed healthcare reform in the first place: insurance companies are greedy, and cannot be trusted.
"It is time to set the record straight," the petition continued. "Tell President Obama to stop apologizing for the despicable conduct of private insurance companies, and hold them accountable."
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, meanwhile, observed that the left is really frantic about the president's backpeddling on Obamacare because it represents all they stand for.
"At stake," he wrote in the Washington Post Friday
, "is more than the fate of one presidency or of the current Democratic majority in the Senate. At stake is the new, more ambitious, social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama, of which Obamacare is both symbol and concrete embodiment."
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