Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to soften the political fallout over the Affordable Care Act by blaming Americans' lackluster response to it on their inability to use the Internet, political consultant Hank Sheinkopf says.
"I'm not an expert on health care, but I do know something about politics. What Harry Reid is trying to do is to soften the blow," Sheinkopf, president of Sheinkopf Communications, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Why? Because elections are coming in November and the Senate is at risk for the Democrats.
"He's got to somehow figure out a way to soften this because he's got a lot of incumbents who will likely face the voters and the voters are not very happy about them."
Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said too many Americans do not know how to navigate the Web.
“We have hundreds of thousands of people who tried to sign up who didn’t get through. There are some people who are not like my grandchildren who can handle everything so easily on the Internet, and these people need a little extra time," he said.
"The example they gave us is a 63-year-old woman came into the store and said, 'I almost got it. Every time I just about got there, it would cut me off.' We have a lot of people just like this through no fault of the Internet, but because people are not educated on how to use the Internet."
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a non-profit public policy research organization, doesn't buy that. "Maybe somebody should tell him that the law has several billion dollars to hire navigators and assistors and people … out all over the country with their laptops to help people sign up," Turner said.
"So that is unbelievably pathetically weak as an excuse for people's difficulty in enrolling in this law."
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