Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Harry Reid | Senate Democrat | Obamacare | Tom Harkin

Harry Reid Latest Senate Democrat to Regret Obamacare

Image: Harry Reid Latest Senate Democrat to Regret Obamacare
(Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 11:15 AM

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined a growing list of Democrats voicing regrets about various aspects of Obamacare when he said his party underestimated the damage done by the disastrous rollout of the healthcare exchanges.

"We never recovered from the rollout because the election became one that was directed toward the president. We couldn’t overcome that," he said in an interview with The New York Times.

The Nevada Democrat reiterated that point in an interview with Politico.

"We never recovered from the Obamacare rollout. I’m not going to beat up on Obama. The rollout didn’t go well. We never recovered from that," conceded Reid, who insisted that he has no regrets about moving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ahead of other issues.

"I’m not going to go back. I mean, we did it," he said. "It’s the hallmark of the first six years of the administration, I think it’s a wonderful legacy for him. I spent months, weeks right in this office, making sure it got done."

Just how potent Obamacare has been as a campaign issue is evident in the fact that 19 Democrats who voted for Obamacare four years ago have retired or resigned from office, according to Bloomberg Politics.

Three others died in office.

Since the midterm elections, the few remaining Democrats left in the Senate who voted for
Obamacare have voiced reservations about the wisdom of making President Barack Obama's signature legislation a priority.

"After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — healthcare reform," said Charles Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, in a November speech at the National Press Club.

"When Democrats focused on healthcare, the average middle-class person thought, 'The Democrats aren't paying enough attention to me,'" added Schumer.

And just last week, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the current chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said political concerns got in the way of crafting a simplified healthcare reform bill.

"We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it," Harkin told The Hill.

"So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all. What we did is we muddled through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively," added Harkin, who is retiring from the Senate.

Democrats appear to be catching up to the negative attitudes many Americans have toward Obamacare.

A Rasmussen Reports national poll released on Monday found that 44 percent of likely voters hold a favorable opinion of the healthcare law, while 52 percent view it negatively.

According to a Rasmussen poll released last week, just 13 percent want to see no changes made to the ACA, compared with 52 percent who want Congress to make changes.

A November Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that 29 percent of respondents support a full repeal of the ACA, while 17 percent support making fixes to it.

The poll, which was taken as the second enrollment period kicked off, also found that Americans were uncertain about whether to sign up or re-enroll.

Asked whether they intended on getting insurance in the next few months, 49 percent said they think they will obtain coverage, while 41 percent said they likely would remain uninsured.

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Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined a growing list of Democrats voicing regrets about various aspects of Obamacare when he said his party underestimated the damage done by the disastrous rollout of the healthcare exchanges.
Harry Reid, Senate Democrat, Obamacare, Tom Harkin
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2014-15-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 11:15 AM
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