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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Democrats Must Now Fight to Make Sure You Can’t Get Your Old Health Insurance Plan Back



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Greg Sargent says Harry Reid would never let the Upton plan pass the Senate: “Any such House bill to undermine Obamacare, of course, is dead on arrival in the Dem-controlled Senate.”

Jay Carney indicates the president’s strong opposition to the Upton plan and all related “you-can-keep-your-plans” bills: “Broadly speaking, we do not see that as fixing the problem, we see that as throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

This is fantastic.

Salon’s Brian Beutler can see the pain that this is going to inflict on Democrats: “The Keep Your Health Plan Act would be immensely damaging to Obamacare if it ever became law, and preventing it from becoming law will require Senate Democrats and President Obama to sustain real political damage over the next few weeks.”

Can you picture the ads? “Senator [Insert Democrat Here] voted to for the Obamacare law that took away your health insurance . . . and then voted against the Keep Your Health Plan Act.” The vulnerable Democrats in Congress will embrace Upton and other plans, while the administration and its allies will need to defeat those ideas with every tool necessary. Democrats are about to enjoy a round of infighting that makes the GOP infighting during the shutdown look like a mild disagreement.

Sargent, back on Halloween:

With some skittish Democrats suggesting Obamacare delays to deal with the website’s awful problems, I asked a senior administration official how worried the White House is about the possibility of serious Dem defections from the law.

“The key is to fix the website,” the official replied. “Everything flows from that.”

I hope that Democrats get this message, because it’s important. If the Web site gets fixed, and if enrollment numbers end up being tolerably decent — say, at a level both sides can spin as a victory for themselves — the current problems will be forgotten, and the law will probably be okay.

Yeah. Well, about that . . . The Washington Post, this morning: “Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project. The insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time — about half its intended capacity, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal information.”

News that the “tech surge” won’t work in time is not that surprising to us. But it will surprise a certain number of Democrats, who continue to believe the assurances of the “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” administration, run by a president who had no idea the web site wasn’t ready to launch.

A key part of Democrats’ discussions since October has been, “it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine, just be patient, just wait.” The house is burning down, and some people inside are insisting that the fire will burn out by itself.


Tags: Obamacare , Barack Obama


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