President Barack Obama sought to protect Democratic legislators from millions of angry voters by offering to take the political blame for Obamacare’s cancellation of peoples’ insurance plans.
“When we didn’t do a good job in the rollout, we’re letting them down and I don’t like to do that,” he said in a Wednesday press conference.
“They stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin,” he said, but now the actual implementation has “put a burden on Democrats, whether running or not.”
Since 2009, many Democratic legislators backed the law, and wrongly echoed Obama’s claim that worried voters would be able to keep their insurance plans after the 2010 law was implemented. “They were making representations based on what I told them… it’s on us,” not the legislators, Obama said.
The law was passed in 2010 by Democrats without any GOP support, amid Democratic promises of cheaper health care for everyone.
Obama’s blocking effort may not succeed because many Democratic legislators are on record lauding the unpopular and so-far unsuccessful Obamacare plan.
Several vulnerable Democratic Senators, including Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Joe Manchin, and Kay Hagen are facing election in 2014. If the GOP gains six seats in November, the GOP will have a narrow majority in the Senate, and could block Obama’s legislation and nominees in 2015 and 2016.
The Obamacare network is unpopular, in part due to the failure of its enrollment website. The political disaster has been worsened by the failure of the network’s website, and by the president’s many deceptive promises that people could keep their health-care plans.
“We will keep this promise to the American people … if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period,” Obama said June 23, 2009.
The disaster is especially dangerous for the Democratic legislators because many of the canceled policies are held by influential swing-voters.
“This voting bloc could have a decisive impact in close races in 2014,” according to a Nov. 11 memo from Resurgent Republic, a survey firm that tracks public opinion on GOP-related priorities.
“Four of the nine most competitive states that Senate Democrats are defending have self-insured populations at or above the national average” of five percent, said the report.
“I feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them, rather than easier for them, to continue to promote the core values that I think led them to support this thing in the first place,” he said.
“Everyone should be able to have the security of affordable health care,” he said.
Studies show that health-care prices are rising and competition is shrinking as the Obamacare network is being implemented.