The Obamacare disaster reached the Oval Office Wednesday when the president was forced to meet with 15 worried Democratic senators who are facing the voters next year.
The senators went to the White House because of growing complaints from voters about Obamacare’s devastating impact on their finances and health-care access.
The Oval Office meeting allows the senators to show themselves standing up for their constituents. That’s a remarkable split for a caucus that allowed parts of government to close in early October rather than accept any GOP reforms of Obamacare.
But the plight of Democratic politicians didn’t get much sympathy from the president, who offered only promises of more speeches and “communications” efforts to sell a law that is causing massive losses of insurance coverage and skyrocketing premiums.
So far, only a few Democratic senators have publicly backed proposals to slow the ambitious takeover of the nation’s health care sector. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen have publicly called for changes, such as an extended deadline for enrollment. (Related: Five Senate Dems pushing for Obamacare enrollment delay said existing plans could be kept)
If six Democratic senators lose their seats next November, the GOP would gain a majority in the Senate.
Shortly after the meeting, Obama called New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie and “was glad to congratulate him on his victory” in Tuesday’s election, White House spokesman Jay Carney explained to a press gaggle. He then flew to Texas to give a speech about Obamacare and to attend two more fundraisers for the 2014 election.
Alaska Democrat Mark Begich has consistently supported the health-sector takeover, but he released a blistering statement to Alaska’s voters to show he’s distancing himself from the massive project.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable in this day and age that the administration can’t deliver on the promises it made to all Americans because of technical problems with a website,” Begich said in his statement, titled “Promises Not Enough, Need Results Now.”
“There is an understandable crisis in confidence because the administration has yet to get it off the ground,” he said.
The “crisis” phrase has already been used by Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
But Begich is still backing the law, and slammed the state’s GOP-led government for not joining the program.
“Before the Affordable Care Act, 34 percent of Alaskans who applied for health insurance each year were denied by their insurance companies. These are most often people with pre-existing conditions — those that need medical care the most,” he said in his statement.