Democrats increasingly worried over Obamacare negatives
One of the arguments Democratic partisans made in favor of the Affordable Health Care Act was that once it started up and Americans got to know it, the Democrats would own it. The problem now is that the start up has been one of the worst start ups for a program in American history and some Americans are getting a bad first impression of it. The result: Democratic politicians anxiety has begun to mount — and in the past few days analysts have reported that some Democrats fear Obamacare’s well-publicized glitches and complications will negate the GOP’s government shut down and debt ceiling threat fiasco:
When a loyal leader on your own team says there is a “crisis of confidence” surrounding your signature initiative, you’ve got trouble.
That’s the phrase Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland used repeatedly Tuesday morning to describe the rollout of the new health care law as she questioned Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the health agency tasked with overseeing the law’s implementation.
“I believe that there’s been a crisis of confidence created in the dysfunctional nature of the website, the canceling of policies, and sticker shock from some people,” said Mikulski, who has generally been a strong ally of the administration.
She cited a news report that 73,000 people in her own state are getting cancellation notices, “so there has been fear, doubt and a crisis of confidence” — and she’s worried people, particularly the young, won’t enroll as a result.
Indeed, the Affordable Care Act’s website woes, combined with millions facing the cancellation of their individual policies despite President Barack Obama’s assurances that would not happen, have put Hill Democrats in an increasingly awkward position — with no easy way out.
After celebrating their victory over the GOP during the government shutdown by sticking firm on Obamacare, vulnerable Hill Democrats are now looking for cover.
The bigger issue is that many Americans are losing faith in the two parties because it often seems like politicians are playing one big shell game.
Some voted for Republicans never dreaming the party would move to curtail women’s rights, shove through draconian voter ID laws aimed at disenfranchising Democratic-leaning groups of Americans, and seriously use political extortion to throw millions of government workers out of work and even hurt the country’s credit — and the international economy.
Some voted for Democrats completely trusting Barack Obama’s words that they could keep their own doctors and insurance if they wished — words that are now described as being somewhat qualified. Some voted for Democrats feeling they could easily sign up with a plan that would help them with health care.
So — once again — 2014 may shape up for many Americans as a year when they have to decide which skunk stinks the least. Partisans on each side will insist there is no smell there and ads will emit perfume to erase the smell. But the health care debacle — emphasizing how Team Obama is toprate in electioneering but effectivness-challenged when it comes to governing — could well neutralize the big gains Democrats thought they would make then Congressional Tea Party Republicans took off their masks and voters go to see the real face underneath.