“WASHINGTON — Anxious congressional Democrats are threatening to abandon President Obama on a central element of his signature health care law, voicing increasing support for proposals that would allow Americans who are losing their health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act to retain it.
The dissent comes as the Obama administration released enrollment figures on Wednesday that fell far short of expectations, and as House Republicans continued their sharp criticism of administration officials at congressional hearings examining the performance of the health care website and possible security risks of the online insurance exchanges.
In addition, a vote is scheduled Friday in the Republican-controlled House on a bill that would allow Americans to keep their existing health coverage through 2014 without penalties. The measure, drafted by Representative Fred Upton, the Michigan Republican who is the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is opposed by the White House, which argues that it would severely undermine the Affordable Care Act by allowing insurance companies to continue to sell health coverage that does not meet the higher standard of Mr. Obama’s health care law.”
“In a closed-door meeting Wednesday of House Democrats and White House officials, tensions flared as several lawmakers upbraided the administration, saying that the president had put Democrats in a tough political position by wrongly promising consumers that they could keep their existing health care plans. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Americans have received cancellation notices from their insurers because their health care coverage does not meet the minimum standards dictated by the new law.
“I’m frustrated in how it rolled out, and I let them know in no uncertain terms,” said Representative Mike Doyle, Democrat of Pennsylvania. “The point I was making in caucus to the administration is don’t give us this techno-babble that you’re going to do some administrative fix down the road. There’s a bill being put on the floor on Friday.”
The overall message of the meeting, said several attendees, was that the White House and the House Democratic leadership have until Friday to come up with a satisfactory alternative, or House Democrats may be forced to support Mr. Upton’s bill, which already has two Democratic co-sponsors: Representatives John Barrow of Georgia and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, who represent more conservative districts.” - With Enrollment Slow, Some Democrats Back Change in Health Law, NYT, 11/13/2013
Link to the entire article appears below:
Updated: Sen. Cornyn: Democrats in 'Near Panic' Over Obamacare, newsmax, 11/13/2013