Politics

House Democrats panic over ObamaCare

House Democrats panic over ObamaCare

The White House held a meeting with nervous House Democrats on Wednesday afternoon.  It did not go well.  It looks like the Friday deadline for a meaningful ObamaCare fix was for real, and Party members are throwing ultimatums at their titular leader.  Fox News:

House Democrats delivered a fix-it-or-else ultimatum Wednesday to President Obama, giving his administration until Friday to find an affordable solution for the millions of Americans losing their health plans under ObamaCare — or risk some Democrats backing a Republican solution.

The ultimatum from President Obama’s own party is another sign of the unrest within the Democratic caucus about the cancellation notices. The end-of-the-week deadline is significant, because House Republicans are planning to call a vote Friday on a bill that would extend current policies for another year.

It’s unclear whether Democrats would go so far as to support that bill if the administration does not offer a Plan B. But one senior Democratic source told Fox News that, at a closed meeting Wednesday, Democrats made clear to the administration that they need a proposed fix before Friday’s vote.

The White House is still making vague promises about solutions to come “sooner rather than later,” which according to my calendar would mean Thursday rather than Friday.  The Democrat caucus was not reassured:

One senior House Democrat characterized the meeting Wednesday as “heated.” The source said the session consisted of “members telling the administration that they screwed it up and now we have to explain it to the public.”

Another source said that it helps for the administration to hear frank talk “from their friends that they need to get back in front of the problem.”

“No more excuses, just get it done,” the source said.

CNN also described the meeting as “heated.”  For comic relief, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been staggering between talk shows, insisting that Democrats are going to run on ObamaCare as a net plus.  No one at today’s meeting seemed inclined to do that:

One congressional Democrat who attended the meeting said senior Obama administration officials Mike Hash and David Simas really “got hit” by House Democrats about everything from the troubled website to the broken promise that people can keep the insurance plans they like.

[...] Several lawmakers — even liberals who adamantly support Obamacare — stood and warned the officials that the White House must come up with a solution before the vote.

As CNN first reported on Tuesday, many House Democrats are feeling so much pressure from constituents on this issue, they may feel compelled to vote yes for political reasons.

“Members want to keep their promises to their constituents, which is that they would have affordable insurance — if they want to keep the plan they have — they would keep it,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio. “We would offer broader insurance alternatives so that people would have more competitive pricing.”

Further proof, if any were needed, that nobody in the Democrat Party actually read the gigantic bill they slammed on top of our heads.  If Marcy Kaptur seriously thinks ObamaCare had anything to do with offering “broader alternatives” in a competitive environment, she’s an utter fool who knows less about her party’s “signature achievement” than the average USA Today reader leafing through the paper over a croissant before she checks out of her hotel room.  You don’t need a seven-foot stack of regulations to offer competitive insurance plans.

The primary political objective for Democrats right now is to get some Republican fingerprints on this disaster.  Right now there are none.  The Affordable Care Act was famously passed on a party-line vote, using dubious parliamentary maneuvers, and a lot of the Democrat votes had to be bought with astonishingly corrupt deals.  Republicans consistently opposed the law.  Even the lowest of low-information voters knows that Senator Ted Cruz and his allies stood tall and tried to save America from this unfolding catastrophe at the last moment.  It’s funny how all those Democrats have suddenly fallen absolutely silent about their big “shutdown victory,” isn’t it?

There’s nothing more important for the terrified left wing right now than getting Republican signatures on something, anything, that would rope them into responsibility for those millions of canceled insurance plans.  It’s astonishing to review all the red-hot Democrat talking points that are suddenly long-forgotten ancient history: there weren’t many cancellations at all, the people losing their insurance were rich fat cats, the plans getting canceled were garbage, cancellations were an important step toward the ObamaCare utopia, everyone in America misunderstood what Barack Obama was really saying about their ability to keep preferred insurance plans, HealthCare.gov crashed because it was just too damn popular, Republicans were the ones who messed up a beautiful system by resisting it, or maybe even just by saying mean things about it… all gone, all dust.  Nothing is left but the mad drive to wheedle some GOP signatures for a “fix,” or get the White House to wave a magic wand and make the whole nightmare go away.  Gollum did not plead so piteously for his Precious.

The “official” numbers for ObamaCare enrollment were released on Wednesday afternoon – after the Administration admitted it was going to cook the books by counting unpurchased “shopping cart” data as sales, a move that would land any private-sector businessman in jail.  Even the cooked numbers were an absolute disaster: only 106,185 total enrollments, and only 26,794 of those came from the federal exchange.  That’s about 1.5 percent of the six-month enrollment target, with October and half of November gone.  The Administration’s target for the first month was 500,000 enrollments.  And nearly four million plans have been killed by ObamaCare so far, with many more to come.  No wonder congressional Democrats are on the verge of panic.

Update: According to The HIll, Senate Democrats are going to have their own fun-filled panic meeting with White House officials on Thursday.  Amusingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is refusing to answer reporters’ questions about insurance policy cancellations until after this meeting.

Update: If you thought those horrid enrollment numbers were too bad to spin, you underestimated the resourcefulness of Team Obama’s snow blowers.

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