Closings and delays

Obama tries to dig out of his big Obamacare hole

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WASHINGTON — While President Barack Obama held a news conference on Thursday where he announced an administrative fix to the Affordable Care Act, it quickly digressed into a confession and apology hour.

He took the blame. He called the rollout of Obamacare “rough.” He said he “fumbled.” He said the problems are “on me.”

He also offered an olive branch to his colleagues on Capitol Hill and acknowledged his party’s tough circumstances.

“There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they’re running or not, because they stood up and supported this,” Obama said.

“I feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them, rather than easier for them,” he added.

It’s tough to be a Democrat now

Less than a month after the government shutdown during which the Republican Party seemed doomed for a generation — or at least through 2014 — the Democrats are now nervously tapping wondering what went so miserably wrong.

The botched Obamacare rollout has put political pressure on the Democratic Party as members backed the President health care agenda as he said on Thursday “through thick and thin.”

Obama’s self-deprecating confession, combined with his administrative “fix” to allow people in the individual market to keep their current insurance plans, did not, however, completely alleviate concerns of Democratic lawmakers.

Obama unveiled remedies for people whose insurance plans have been canceled, despite repeated assurances that if you like your plan you can keep it.

He said the federal government “isn’t going to get in the way” of insurance companies offering plans to existing customers in the individual insurance market that don’t meet minimum coverage requirements.

Frayed nerves

For instance, Senator Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, said she is still going to push her legislation that would also address the problem. And Senator Kay Hagan, D- North Carolina, told CNN she is inclined to support Landrieu’s bill. It goes a little bit further and has more teeth.

Both Landrieu and Hagan are up for re-election next year. They are not alone. A handful of other Democratic Senators have to tread carefully as do dozens of Democratic House members.

The President’s announcement came as Democrats repeatedly rang alarm bells over the canceled plans. Former President Bill Clinton chimed in, saying Obama should keep his promise.

Some Democrats say it doesn’t go far enough because the onus is on insurance companies and state insurance commissioners to extend the plans for an additional year.

The insurance trade lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, released a statement saying the last-minute changes could “destabilize the market and result in higher premiums.”

Insurance cancellations exist on top of a troubled website and lower-than-expected enrollment figures.

The real test on whether Obama alleviated Democratic concerns will be if Democrats back a Republican proposal Friday by Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan that would largely undermine Obamacare.

Upton’s bill would allow affected insurance plans to extend into next year and gut a major part of the Affordable Care Act by allowing anyone — not just the 5% of people in the individual market place – to purchase low-coverage plans.

Obamacare prohibits discrimination for preexisting conditions and mandates coverage for mental health, prenatal care and other issues. This is a primary reason why insurance companies are dropping existing coverage.

Trust

With the problems facing Obamacare, public opinion of the President has declined. His approval rating among American voters has dropped to its lowest number in a Quinnipiac University polling since he became President with new doubts being raised about trust. Fifty two percent of respondents said the President is not trustworthy.

Obama appeared to understand the severity.

“I am not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect President, but I’ll wake up every single day working as hard as I can on behalf of Americans out there,” he said.

CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley said Obama’s diminished trustworthiness will make the remaining implementation of Obamacare challenging.

“It’s going to be more and more difficult every day,” Crowley said.

10 comments

  • Faith

    If this program is so great why does Obama and congress not have to have it for themselves and their families?
    He makes it sound like there was a little glitch. He lied to fhe people of this country and now is trying to back peddle and say he had no clue. Obama=liar and he needs to go.

    • Wolfgang H.

      Faith…..you spell the like this not “fhe.” Secondly, members of Congress are excempt from the ACA so please do your homework before you get on here and sound ignorant. I voted for Romney so you guys that voted for this president are getting your “change” now.

  • Lorrie Fowler Gallimore

    Mr Obama wakes up every morning working on behalf of the wealthy… but not on behalf of the average American citizen. Sort of reminds me of the Progressive Insurance commercial.. Liar, Liar pants on fire. Bet his britches are a little warm…. And new doubts about his trust?? Did anyone ever REALLY trust him??

    • Wolfgang H.

      Lorrie dear you need a wake-up call!! The president isn’t working for the wealthy, he’s working for all of the people of this country that feel “entitled” to free everything. Meanwhile the hard-working US taxpayer is picking up the bill. You people really do not follow anything and i wonder where you get your resources from because they are profoundly false.

      • Lorrie Fowler Gallimore

        Wolfgang dear I am a hard working, tax paying American citizen as are members of my family who have had their private health insurance plan cancelled. Their premiums under Mr Obama’s plan will cost them an additional $1300 a month. Affordable health care? What a joke. I do agree that Mr Obama was voted in by all those that feel that are “entitled” to free everything. Bet they are as well feeling the pinch.

      • Randy Jessup

        Wolfgang H. and Lorrie you poor dears, Obama works for neither of the people you cite. He is a globalist and his hope was to change America into part of the global government basically handing us to the UN. His plan has been to bankrupt this nation just as every president since Reagen has been planning. He has done this by undervaluing our currency destabilizing it by printing so much more money than we have done in years eventually inflation will catch up to it and we will all be destitute. He has not done this in a vacuum all of our elected officials are in on it. In addition he has coupled this threat to our currency with his record welfare increases as illegals flood the system and the poor give up trying to work and accept money from the state. These sheeple are the first that will be killed when the economy collapses they will kill each other as they realize that no one will take care of them. Only the wealthy will be protected because they have been able to protect their money by diversifying their wealth world wide. Those of us who have seen this coming will not be safe from these attacking hordes they will quickly destroy our ability to feed ourselves as they quickly exhaust their 4 to 6 day supply of food. They will go door to door hitting those neighbors who they know have had gardens. The elderly will be dead within a week the middle class working stiffs may survive longer. As they will be able to protect them selves a little better.

        I know this is a very bleak future that I have painted but it is what we have to look forward to. There is no protection from this as we have no free elections anymore. Our Elected elite have been chosen for us by the global banking organization the world wide elites have done this by design. The Bildeburgers are the ones that have planned this for decades probably for a century.

        If you examine our choices for the last few decades you can see that no real conservatives are being offered, it is only those wealthy elites that Carl Rove and the media has approved. The media is culpable in this agenda that is designed to bring down our destruction. I trust no one in this time of world domination. Both of you need to wake up we have no two party system anymore the republicans are just democrats in slow motion. The tea party is a threat to that as it is wholly a grass roots effort. This is why the media is so against it as well Proof really of what I am saying. Discount my diatribe as the ravings of a mad man if you will but when it happens you will be too busy trying to stay alive to remember that you have been warned that it was coming.

  • Wake up America

    Our wonderful senator Kay Hagan believes in Obama. She voted for this crock of insurance all the way. And just like Pelosi, she wanted to pass it without even knowing what was in it! We just have to wait to see… Way to go Kay, way to represent NC. Please vote this lady out of office.

  • Tim

    Hitler ran a better game than Obama and Hagan…..both need to go and the wealthy continue to stay wealthy and the low income continue to get free hand outs. Its the middle class working people who are getting the short end of all of this. Get rid of Obama!

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