Vulnerable Democrats Still Afraid of Obamacare

Image: Vulnerable Democrats Still Afraid of Obamacare Sen. John Walsh

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 08:00 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Democrats endangered in the midterm elections continue to distance themselves from Obamacare as President Barack Obama celebrates hitting the 7 million sign-up mark by the March deadline.

Politico reported that it had attempted to contact half a dozen embattled incumbents seeking a reaction to the new enrollment numbers – and they failed to return calls. The political website noted that Democratic senators in red and purple states were not toasting or touting the figures either.

One Democratic pollster, who wished to remain anonymous, told Politico: "The less we’re talking about Obamacare, the better off we are. It is helpful, but it’s not going to fundamentally change the playing field."

An unnamed Democratic strategist, who is attempting to help his beleaguered party hold onto the Senate in November, said, "If we had endless news cycles like we did in November and December, we were gonna get wiped out.

"But there’s success in the air now, the situation has stabilized, and things are not getting worse. It’s not a sea change, but it’s a shift."

The Democrats may still be frightened of Obamacare because millions of people have lost their health insurance plans or have been forced to downgrade their doctors while also paying higher premiums for lower-quality coverage.

"People have to sign up for Obamacare," National Republican Senatorial Committee strategist Brad Dayspring told Politico. "They are forced to by law. That doesn’t mean they like it, and politically, that is a big difference. Don’t let the White House or Democrats who voted for the unpopular law play you for an April fool."

Republicans say the administration will not reveal how many people have actually paid for their policies, how many signed up for Medicaid who weren’t eligible before, or how many people who signed up for Obamacare didn’t have coverage before, Politico reported.

Montana Democratic Sen. John Walsh said the controversial heath reform law left a bad taste in his mouth.

"I didn’t vote on the Affordable Care Act, and there’s been a lot of problems with the Affordable Care Act, so I am disappointed," he said.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is facing a difficult race in Louisiana, cited the Obamacare sign-up statistics.

"Today’s enrollment announcement confirms what I have said since Day One – the Affordable Care Act holds great promise and is getting stronger every day," Landrieu said.

In her re-election campaign, the embattled senator has criticized the president for failing to keep his promise that people could keep their current insurance plans and their doctors under his signature domestic policy.

Last year, Landrieu introduced her own legislation aimed at helping people keep their existing plans under Obamacare.

Although vulnerable Alaska Democrat Mark Begich praised the enrollment figures, he also took a potshot at the Obamacare’s rocky rollout last year and vowed to continue pushing legislation that would give Americans a wider choice of plans.

"I think that number would have been even higher if the administration hadn’t dropped the ball on managing the website and larger rollout," Begich told Politico.

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